September 17, 1981

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Cystic fibrosis is an hereditary, metabolic disease primarily affecting the respiratory and digestive systems. Tragically, the disease attacks the young. It imposes enormous economic, physical and emotional burdens on both victim and family. The disease is the leading genetic killer of young Americans; yet, its cause and cure are unknown. In addition, there is no test for determining who is a carrier -- and there are up to 10 million sympton-free individuals who might pass cystic fibrosis on to their children.

Nevertheless, there is ample reason for hope. There have been important advances in the treatment of cystic fibrosis. Twenty-five years ago, children affected by the disease seldom reached school age. Today, half of those afflicted with the disease will live into their twenties, and the quality of life during these additional years has been significantly improved.

Supported by the National Institutes of Health and private voluntary agencies, researchers throughout the world are focusing their efforts on cystic fibrosis. Improved methods of diagnosis, detection, treatment and control are being examined and attention, as never before, is being paid to this cruel disease.

Since early diagnosis can prolong life, public awareness is critical. To increase this awareness and commemorate the progress being made in controlling cystic fibrosis, and to emphasize the need for a continued effort to defeat it, the Congress has, by Senate Joint Resolution 62, designated the week of September 20 through September 26, 1981, as National Cystic Fibrosis Week.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week of September 20 through September 26, 1981, as National Cystic Fibrosis Week. I call upon the people of the United States to observe that week with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this seventeenth day of September in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and sixth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:35 a.m., September 18, 1981]

Note: The text of the proclamation was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on September 18.