The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) was established in 1955 to assure the development of the means to cure and control cystic fibrosis (CF) and to improve the quality of life for those with the disease. The Foundation is the leading organization in the United States devoted to cystic fibrosis. It funds and accredits more than 115 CF care centers, 95 adult care programs and 50 affiliate programs, and has 80 chapters and branch offices nationwide. Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide). A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus.