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Meet William Elder, Jr., a Guest of the First Lady at the State of the Union

Thanks to precision medicine, Bill Elder, a Cystic Fibrosis patient, plans to live a very full life as a family physician.

Bill Elder is joining the First Lady as a guest at the 2015 State of the Union Address on January 20. Watch it live at 9 p.m. Eastern at

William Elder

When Bill Elder was only eight years old, most doctors wouldn't have expected him to live long. At the time, most cystic fibrosis patients were only expected to live to early adulthood.

But thanks to a unique collaboration between the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, patients, researchers, and a pharmaceutical company, Bill -- now 27 -- is a graduate of Stanford University, a third-year medical student in Ohio, and is expecting to live a long, very full life. 

His treatment was innovative, a medication that targets the underlying cause of the disease for a small subset of patients. Inspired by this compassion and cutting-edge care, Bill is studying to become a family practitioner with a focus on preventive care.

His story is a testament to the promise of precision medicine, an emerging approach to treatment that takes into account patients' individual characteristics, and a kind of research the President hopes to expand. 

The State of the Union 2015: Everything You Need to Know