The USC Center for Cystic Fibrosis – Adult Care at Keck Hospital of USC has received a generous $1 million gift from the Anton Yelchin Foundation. Anton Yelchin had cystic fibrosis, and the USC Center for Cystic Fibrosis – Adult Care provided 10 years of care to help him manage his health. Anton Yelchin’s parents, Irina and Victor Yelchin, along with the board of directors of the foundation, gathered Oct. 22 at the newly named Anton Yelchin Cystic Fibrosis Clinic with the hospital’s cystic fibrosis team to commemorate the gift.
The adult cystic fibrosis clinic, led by A. Purush Rao, MD, clinical associate professor of medicine (clinician educator) at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, is focused on helping people with cystic fibrosis transition from pediatric to adult care. The clinic’s multidisciplinary team works with patients and their families to create individualized treatment plans that allow them to live healthier lives.
“The staff at the cystic fibrosis clinic was like a family to Anton,” Irina Yelchin said. “He worked hard and was dedicated to living a healthy life. When he needed assistance, they were always there for him.”
Irina and Victor Yelchin created the Anton Yelchin Foundation in memory of their son.
“Anton had a generous spirit,” said Victor Yelchin, CEO and board president of the foundation. “This gift not only reflects our gratitude to the clinic but also Anton’s dedication to helping others.”
Approximately 30,000 people in the United States have cystic fibrosis, an inherited disease that affects the mucus and sweat glands, causing a buildup of mucus in the lungs and other organs. Complications can include lung infections, sinusitis and poor weight gain and growth. While symptoms can vary, people with cystic fibrosis require daily medical therapies and sometimes, hospitalization or even lung transplantation. Medical advances, however, are helping people with cystic fibrosis to live longer — and healthier — lives. According to the National Institutes of Health, the median life expectancy for people with cystic fibrosis has almost quadrupled since the 1960s in the United States.
“Because of Anton’s strong will and the dedication of the cystic fibrosis team at USC, he lived an exceptional, productive life,” Irina Yelchin said.
— Erica Rheinschild