Cystic fibrosis is an inherited fatal disease that causes recurrent lung infections, lung damage and premature death.
The 16-year-old Hammond participated in Teen Advocacy Day on behalf of his twin brother, Will, who has cystic fibrosis.
During the event, Graham met one-on-one with senators and representatives from Tennessee to share his personal experiences and advocate for people with CF.
Hammond asked members of Congress to increase funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and to recognize the importance of affordable access to care at CF Foundation-accredited care centers.
“It was a great experience and I was deeply grateful for the opportunity to tell our family’s story. My brother and many other people are benefitting from the work done by these important agencies,” said Graham.
“It was exciting to be in Washington, D.C., and hopefully I was able to help my congressional representatives understand what people with CF experience every day.”
Graham and Will both play soccer for the Cleveland High Blue Raiders.
“He’s defense and I’m offense,” explained Graham. “He may be a little faster but I’m a better scorer.”
In addition to soccer both boys played trumpet in the marching band their freshman year and participated in science Olympiad their freshman and sophomore years.
For 14 years the brothers have participated in the Great Strides event for Cystic Fibrosis at Lee University.
Will Hammond was unable to attend Teen Advocacy Day because people with CF are advised to avoid being in close contact with one another, due to the risk of getting or spreading dangerous germs that can lead to lung infections for those with cystic fibrosis.
Teen Advocacy Day is sponsored by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the world’s leader in the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis.
Based in Bethesda, Md., the Foundation also supports and accredits a national care center network that has been recognized by the National Institutes of Health as a model of care for a chronic disease.
The CF Foundation is a donor-supported nonprofit organization.