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Fri 24 Mar 2023

Somaschini using ERC campaign to shine a spotlight on cystic fibrosis awareness

Rachele Somaschini not only got her biggest FIA European Rally Championship campaign so far underway in northern Portugal earlier this month, she also used the ERC opener to continue raising awareness of cystic fibrosis and funding for the condition she suffers from.

#Racingforabreath, or #Correreperunrespiro in Italian, is an initiative which was launched by Somaschini in 2016. And the 29-year-old’s extensive efforts are now taking centre stage in ERC, which Somaschini is contesting in a Pirelli-equipped Citroën C3 Rally2.

“I want to express so much gratitude to the promoter of this important championship for having shown attention, sensitivity and willingness to a cause that is so close to my heart, and not only because it directly involves me,” said Somaschini, who finished 31st on Rally Serras de Fafe, Felgueiras, Boticas, Vieira do Minho e Cabeceiras de Basto.

“For 30 per cent of people affected by certain genetic variants of the disease, there is still no treatment available. #Racingforabreath will not stop until a cure is found for everyone. Spreading this message through an international stage and with the support of such a prestigious organisation as the ERC, is the most ambitious goal I could have achieved.”

To date, #Racingforabreath has raised EUR 300,000 to finance important Cystic Fibrosis Research Foundation projects.

In Europe, about one in 30 people are asymptomatic carriers of the defective cystic fibrosis (CF) gene. Couples in which both partners are CF carriers have a one in four (25 per cent) chance in each pregnancy of having a child with CF. There are about 52,000 people with cystic fibrosis in Europe. Currently there is no cure for this disease, but thanks to scientific research and advancements in treatment and care people with cystic fibrosis are living longer, healthier lives than ever before.

The Cystic Fibrosis Research Foundation Onlus funds research projects that have the ultimate aim to improve the health status of people with cystic fibrosis and to provide a breakthrough in the understanding of the molecular basis of the disease. Approved by the Italian Ministry of University and Research (MUR) as a promoter of scientific research into the disease, the Foundation involves 1000 researchers, 260 research institutes in Italy, 150 volunteer delegations and support groups and 5000 volunteers raising funds and providing information on the disease.