Members of the public are being urged to support Cystic Fibrosis Ireland's annual fundraiser, 65 Roses Day, today (April 13).
CF is Ireland's most common life-threatening inherited disease. Around one in 19 people are carriers of the CF gene and when two carriers have a child there is a one in four chance their child will be born with it. There are over 1,300 people in Ireland with CF and this country has the highest prevalence and the most severe types of CF in the world.
The condition affects the regulation of absorption and secretion of salt and water in various parts of the body including the lungs, sweat glands and pancreas. This defect inhibits the flow of salt and water through the body's cells, causing a build-up of thick, sticky mucus, which can clog airways and harbour harmful bacteria.
Symptoms can vary in severity. The most common symptom is recurrent chest infections, which results in lung damage.
Funds raised from 65 Roses Day will go towards three main areas:
-Grants to members: This will cover things such as transplant support, fertility treatment and counselling. Last year, the charity provided €181,000 to members and it is hoping to increase this figure this year
-Grants for research: CFI provided over €350,000 in research grants in 2017, including a project on post-transplant issues. It wants to support more projects this year
-Grants for clinical posts: CFI provided funding for five clinical posts last year, including a doctor's post in Dublin's Beaumont Hospital. These posts cost over €230,000 and they will continue to be funded this year.
Speaking about 65 Roses Day, CFI chief executive, Philip Watt, pointed out that the charity depends ‘almost entirely' on the public for the provision of its vital services, and as a result, this is its most important fundraising appeal.
"Every year, we support people with CF and their families with a range of services that rely on charitable funding. These include new and improved facilities in CF units around the country, the financing of specialist CF posts in hospitals, the funding of medical and scientific research, and the provision of patient support grants in areas such as counselling, transplant assessment and bereavement. We simply could not continue to do this without the wonderful support of the public," he commented.
People can support 65 Roses Day on Friday April 13 by buying a purple rose for €2 in participating shopping centres and Spar stores, by donating online at 65RosesDay.ie, or by texting 65ROSES to 50300 to donate €2 (CFI will receive a minimum of €1.80).
For more information on CFI, click here
*Pictured is the Taoiseach Leo Varakdar with Eva Rose Martin (age 5), from St Margaret's, Co. Dublin, who has CF, and her best friend Ciara Moore (age 6), from Ashbourne, Co. Meath