Ridgecrest community members and organizations will come together once again on Dec. 7 for the 2019 Cystic Fibrosis Great Strides Walk at Cerro Coso College track.

Registration starts at 9:30 a.m. Burroughs High School music instructor Mark Hatter and some of the Burroughs High School Band members will once again lead off this festive event at 10 a.m.

Coffee, cocoa, water, cookies, donuts, and other refreshments will be provided for all participants.

“Taking part in this annual Ridgecrest Walk is our community’s opportunity to help find a cure for CF,” said Tina Frisbee in announcement. “It is also a time to show support and encouragement to the Ridgecrest families that are affected daily by this disease.”

The Great Strides Walk in Ridgecrest owes its existence to the Frisbee family, namely Eric and Julie Frisbee, after their two daughters, Taylor and Isabella, were diagnosed with the disease.

Fundraising has become a tradition in Ridgecrest to help support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s research to find a cure and an awareness campaign. Businesses and service organizations have given generously over the years, and schools have held fundraising goals.

Over its 13 years, the Great Strides Walk has raised more than $488,000. The schools alone have raised $48,000, including $14,000 from Pierce Elementary, of which all three of Eric and Julie Frisbee’s children attended.

Cystic fibrosis primarily affects the lungs and digestive system, causing the production of mucus that is much thicker and more sticky than usual.

There are more than 1,7000 known mutations of the disease. According to the National Institutes of Health, 30,000 people in the U.S. currently live with the disease, and 70,000 world wide.

According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, "the condition causes the buildup of mucus in the lungs, clogging the airways and trapping bacteria, thus leading to infections, extensive lung damage and eventually respiratory failure. In the pancreas, release of digestive enzymes that normally allow the body to break down food and absorb vital nutrients gets clogged also."

Exercise, like running and swimming, also helps as it is considered to be the most important therapy for clearing the body's airways.

Currently, cystic fibrosis has no cure, but the CF Foundation has dumped millions into research for one.

However, a new drug called Trikafta, shows promise in that it will actually address the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis rather than simply treating the symptoms.

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation also announced in October its “Path to a Cure” plan, which will doll out $500 million through 2025 to help with basic research and support clinical programs.

Those taking this medication will breathe more easily, have more energy, be able to gain weight, and will have an improved quality of life.