‘More help needed to tackle cystic fibrosis’ – Hazzard

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Friday, May 4th, 2012
South Down MLA Chris Hazzard has joined in calling for better understanding and the targeting of more resources towards tackling Cystic Fibrosis. Some MLA’s had their lung function tested at a recent awareness event to see how their results compare with someone with Cystic Fibrosis to highlight the devastating impact of the disease for Cystic Fibrosis Week 2012. The event, held on 30th April 2012, was organised by the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, who showed MLA’s how Cystic Fibrosis damages the lungs. The average lung capacity for an adult with Cystic Fibrosis is just 65.1% compared to someone without Cystic Fibrosis who would achieve approximately 80%. Cystic Fibrosis is a progressive disease and the average age of death for a person with CF is around 29 years old. Despite this, because of advances in treatment and access to clinical expertise, many people with CF are living longer than ever before. Speaking to Newry Times, Mr Hazzard said, “I was delighted to attend this event to show my support for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. Seeing people having their lung function tested has shown me how much more effort people with Cystic Fibrosis have to make just to take a breath. I can see how arduous the burden of treatment is to try to stop lung function from declining. It also highlighted to me just what a battle it is living with this condition that claims two lives every week.” “I would encourage as many people as possible,” he continued, “to take part in an event that is organised during Cystic Fibrosis Week to help to raise awareness and fundraise for research and support for Cystic Fibrosis. Cystic Fibrosis is one of the most common inherited conditions, affecting over 9,000 babies, children and adults, with approximately 500 living with the condition in the North of Ireland.” Claire Francis, Policy and Public Affairs Manager at the Cystic Fibrosis Trust said: “Cystic Fibrosis is a disease that is difficult to understand as people with the condition can look healthy and active. Through our events for Cystic Fibrosis Week we hope to show politicians how the disease affects the body and how important daily treatment and expert care is to help people live longer lives and improve their quality of life. People with Cystic Fibrosis don’t get a second chance once the damage is done. Providing the best quality of care is crucial to maintaining lung function.” She added, “We can’t let NHS cuts have a negative impact on people with Cystic Fibrosis.” More information in Cystic Fibrosis Week, which runs from 29th April to 5th May and events going on can be found at www.cfweek.org.uk
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