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ATLANTA — The Make-A-Wish Foundation has announced that it is no longer automatically eligible because its cystic fibrosis results have made “life-changing progress.”
The charity foundation announced the policy change in a news release on Friday. It explained that from January 2024, children with cystic fibrosis would only be eligible if they had “additional complications or factors that make their current situation critical.”
Cystic fibrosis is a lifelong, progressive genetic disease that causes excess mucus, traps infections, and blocks airways in the lungs. Treatment options for this disease have long been limited, and diagnosis is associated with shortened life span.
However, advances in the treatment of this disease have extended lifespans for cystic fibrosis patients by decades. From 2017 to 2021, the current life expectancy for cystic fibrosis patients born between 2017 and 2021 is 53, up from her 38 a decade ago, according to the release. In 2019, the FDA approved a “breakthrough” treatment that can be used by up to 90% of patients with the disease.
“This decision was not made lightly and we understand that it may result in frustration and disappointment,” the organization wrote. Carefully review CF requests that guardians, medical professionals, or potential wish children believe meet our guidelines.
The foundation said it would consult with a team of 19 doctors from diverse backgrounds and some of the more than 200 medical advisors who support chapters to ensure the new rules are applied fairly.
The non-profit explained that it would also grant wishes on a case-by-case basis for several other ailments, including some cancers, epilepsy, sickle cell disease, and heart disease.
According to its website, the Make-A-Wish Foundation grants “life-changing wishes” to children aged 2.5 to 18 who have been diagnosed with a serious illness that “endangers a child’s life.” increase.