Public Voting Now Open to Help Grant Two $20,000 Abbott CFCareForward Scholarships to Students with Cystic Fibrosis

This Year Marks the 20th Anniversary of the CFCareForward Scholarship Program, which has Awarded More Than $2.3 Million to Students with Cystic Fibrosis

ABBOTT PARK, Ill., Aug. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Abbott (NYSE: ABT) has selected 40 undergraduate and graduate students living with cystic fibrosis (CF) to each receive a $2,500 CFCareForward Scholarship for use during the 2012-2013 academic year.  Recipients were chosen based on their impressive academic merits, community involvement and creativity, and will now compete for two additional scholarships for a total award of $20,000 each – in honor of the 20th anniversary of the program.  From now until Sept. 11, 2012, the public is invited to vote at to help determine this year's Thriving Undergraduate and Graduate Student winners.

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"We're pleased to welcome the new class of CFCareForward Scholarship students, who join the more than 500 exceptional students with CF who have received this award over the past 20 years," said Jim Hynd, divisional vice president, Cardiovascular Care, Metabolics and GI Care, Abbott.  "The legacy of this program is a testament to the continued dedication and hard work students with CF demonstrate toward their educational pursuits, in spite of this challenging disease. Abbott is proud to support their academic goals with increased scholarship funding this year."

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive systems of approximately 30,000 children and adults in the United States.  More than 70 percent of people with CF are diagnosed by age two.  In patients with CF, a thick, sticky mucus is produced in certain organs throughout the body, most commonly the lungs and digestive system, including the pancreas. The mucus build-up in the lungs can cause difficulty breathing and may lead to life-threatening lung infections. Additionally, many people living with CF are unable to properly digest food because of the thick mucus in the digestive system. Due to advances in medical treatments, more young adults with CF are living longer, healthier lives than ever before, and increasingly are pursuing higher education.  Today, more than 45 percent of people living with CF are aged 18 or older.

"The physical, emotional and financial demands of CF can make daily life difficult, however, with help from the CFCareForward Scholarship program, I am pursuing my goal of becoming a geneticist," said 2011 Thriving Undergraduate Student, Lauren Meiss.  "I am excited to see the wonderful accomplishments of this year's recipients and cast my vote for a Thriving Undergraduate and Graduate Student."

The inspiring stories and extraordinary achievements of this year's 40 recipients are featured at, along with voting information for the contest.  The public can cast their vote for a favorite undergraduate and graduate student online, as well as via text message and a toll-free phone number between now and Sept. 11, 2012.  To place a vote in the undergraduate category, call 1-800-262-0077 or text 23000, and for the graduate category, call 1-800-892-5566 or text 23000. Abbott will announce the 2012 Thriving Undergraduate and Graduate Student winners in October.

About CFCareForwardScholarship

Recognizing the financial burdens that exist for many CF families, the CFCareForward Scholarship was developed to honor young adults with CF as they pursue goals of post-high school education.  Over the past 20 years, Abbott has awarded scholarships totaling more than $2.3 million to exceptional students with CF. 

About CFCareForward

Abbott is honored to continue the nearly 25-year commitment of helping people with CF manage their health.  The CFCareForward program provides comprehensive nutritional, financial and educational support for patients living with CF and their families.  To learn more about CFCareForward, please call 1-855-CARE4WD (227-3493).

About Abbott

Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics.  The company employs approximately 91,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries.

Abbott's news releases and other information are available on the company's website at