People with cystic fibrosis (CF) can now apply for a grant to help them with the costs associated with personal protective equipment (PPE).
While those with the condition are well used to social distancing, hand washing, and cough and sneeze etiquette, research by Cystic Fibrosis Ireland (CFI) has highlighted PPE as a big issue.
To help with this, it has established a grant fund, which people with CF, or their guardians, can apply for. The grant of €100 per applicant can be applied for up until August 22.
"People with CF are still cocooning, but as we move towards further possible relaxation of the COVID-19 regulations in the coming weeks and months, it is important that they have some practical assistance towards the costs of PPE if and when they go back to study, training or employment," commented CFI chief executive, Philip Watt.
To access the grant, applicants simply have to be registered as a member of CFI (at no charge), and be a permanent resident of the Republic of Ireland. The grant is not means tested, so your income is irrelevant.
"As a member-led organisation, we know that there are additional costs associated with purchasing PPE for non-hospital activities and we hope that this initiative will help with some of these additional expenses as we continue to navigate our way through this pandemic.
"I would encourage all those with CF in Ireland who feel they would benefit from this grant to apply before the closing date of August 22," Mr Watt said.
The grant is worth up to €120,000 in total.
CFI has introduced a range of measures to support people with CF during the pandemic, including the introduction of online counselling for members, access to online exercise supports and mentoring, and financial support for a number of hospital CF units to develop virtual clinics.
Wellbeing initiatives and educational webinars have also been provided, as well as practical supports to members, such as emergency finance.
To apply for the grant, click here. For more information the supports available to people with CF, visit the CFI website here.
CF is an inherited chronic disease that primarily affects the lungs and the digestive system. A defective gene causes the body to produce unusually thick sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and obstructs the pancreas, stopping natural enzymes from enabling the body to break down and absorb food.
Ireland has the highest incidence of CF in the world, with almost 1,400 people diagnosed here. Ireland also has some of the more severe forms of the disease.
Those affected experience a range of symptoms including frequent lung infections, persistent coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.
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