During its seventh annual National Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF) Awareness Week, the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis (CPF) added 10 additional members of Congress as co-sponsors to the first-ever request for a Congressional allocation to fund research on PF. There are now 52 co-sponsors of the Pulmonary Fibrosis Research Enhancement Act (HR 1079) in the US House of Representatives.

Advocates for PF action held 60 meetings on Capitol Hill during National Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Week, September 14 through 18. Advocates focused on securing support for passage of HR 1079 and continuing to raise awareness of PF issues to Members of Congress and in communities nationwide. The majority of the Capitol Hill meetings took place with members who serve on the Energy and Commerce Committee and on the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health.

"It was great to be on the Hill again this year for many reasons," said Liz Darcy, a PF patient, in a press announcement. "I’m happy to still be alive and I’m thankful to be able to help further this cause and ask for support of HR 1079."

The CPF and advocates also met with Rep Brian Baird (D-Wash) and Rep Mike Castle (R-Del) who introduced HR 1079. The CPF stressed the bipartisan nature of the legislation that would authorize $16 million in new federal funding to create the first national patient registry for PF, and provide support for research into the lung disease. Both congressmen have lost members of their families to PF.