chILD Week

chILD Week

Welcome Message

Children's interstitial lung disease (chILD) is an umbrella term that has evolved to include a diverse group of rare lung disorders, which result in difficulty breathing and impaired gas exchange.  chILD disorders have diverse pathologic causes and can involve multiple compartments within the lung.  We now know that children presenting with the same symptoms can have many different underlying conditions.  The true incidence of chILD disorders is unknown due to challenges with diagnosis and classification.  Individually these disorders are rare, but collectively there are many more patients than previously estimated.  With chILD disorders there is high morbidity and significant risk for mortality. Because these disorders are rare, it is essential that physicians and researchers around the world work together to share understanding and advance research

In the U.S., the Children's Interstitial Lung Disease Research Network (chILDRN) is an interdisciplinary and multi-centered collaborative group with a mission to improve the care for children with chILD. The ATS and chILD Foundation have provided a great deal of support for these collaborations over many years.  As a result there are now better classification systems, diagnostic consensus statements, diagnostic codes, and family education resources.  There have been numerous network projects and publications.  In 2017 chILDRN launched their patient registry using a centralized approval process for all involved hospitals.  This registry is actively being used to better characterize and describe chILD disorders.

Most chILD disorders do not have treatments and there is very little data to guide treatment decisions.  Further basic science, translational, and clinical research is required to advise and advance therapeutic options.  And so, we welcome "Children's Interstitial Lung Diseases Week at the ATS" and our partnership in this awareness campaign applauding its focus on childhood interstitial and diffuse lung diseases (chILD). We look forward to sharing information that will help guide families, advance research, and support clinicians and allied health professionals in their efforts to treat these conditions.


Greg Porta

Greg Porta
Founder and President, chILD Foundation
Immediate Past Chair, ATS Public Advisory Roundtable (PAR)

Alicia Casey, MD

Alicia Casey, MD
Co-Director, Interstitial Lung Disease Program
Instructor in Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School





The mission of the chILD Foundation is to accelerate research to cure all forms of Children's Interstitial and Diffuse Lung Disease (chILD) and to provide compassionate support, education, and hope to children and families affected by these life-altering diseases.