Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Optimized image 49879a5a




Bethesda, Maryland


Robert J. Beall, Ph.D., President and CEO

Area Served:



Cystic Fibrosis


US$143.7 million (2005)


The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) is a non-profit organization in the United States established to provide the means to cure and control cystic fibrosis (CF). The Foundation provides information about cystic fibrosis and finances CF research that aims to improve the quality of life for people with the disease. The Foundation also engages in legislative lobbying for cystic fibrosis.

History Edit

The Foundation was established in 1955 by a group of volunteers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In addition to providing grants for research into cystic fibrosis and supporting clinical trials, the foundation promotes and accredits 115 specialized centers for treatment of individuals with cystic fibrosis. The Foundation has over 80 chapters and offices across the US.

In 1989, scientists working for the Foundation discovered the gene that causes cystic fibrosis, considering the key to developing a cure for CF.

The Foundation has been a pioneer of CF treatment, having played a major role in the development and use of four FDA-approved therapies.

65 Roses Edit

In the United States, the Foundation has popularized the usage of the registered trademark 65 Roses as an alternative to the sometimes more difficult to pronounce term cystic fibrosis. According to Foundation folklore, the term 65 Roses came into being after a Foundation volunteer, Mary Weiss, heard it from her four year old son, Richard Weiss, in 1965. The term 65 Roses is used by children to describe their disease and has been intertwined with the Foundation, which uses a rose as a symbol of the Foundation.

The 65 Roses Story Edit

Mary G. Weiss became a volunteer for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in 1965 after learning that her three little boys had CF. Her duty was to call every civic club, social and service organization seeking financial support for CF research. Mary's 4-year-old son, Richard, listened closely to his mother as she made each call. After several calls, Richard came into the room and told his Mom, "I know what you are working for." Mary was dumbstruck because Richard did not know what she was doing, nor did he know that he had cystic fibrosis. With some trepidation, Mary asked, "What am I working for, Richard?" He answered, "You are working for 65 Roses." Mary was speechless. He could not see the tears running down Mary's cheeks as she stammered, "Yes Richard, I'm working for 65 Roses."

See Also Edit