A YOUNG mum from Berkeley has helped beat cystic fibrosis by walking over the Severn Bridge from England to Wales and back.
Sally Woolams, 42, took up the challenge to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust when her 18-month-old son Joseph was diagnosed with the condition two weeks after he was born.
The life-shortening disease directly affects around 10,000 people in the UK, with the faulty gene carried by over two million people, most of whom have no idea.
It causes the lungs to become clogged with thick, sticky mucus, resulting in chronic infections and inflammation and only half of those who have it live to celebrate their 40th birthday.
People with cystic fibrosis often look perfectly healthy but it’s a lifelong challenge involving a vast daily intake of drugs, time-consuming physiotherapy and isolation from others with the condition.
It places a huge burden on those around them and the condition can critically escalate at any moment.
Sally, who is a carer for her mum, did the 8km walk for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust with her husband Leon, 32, and her two other sons Paddy, 16, and Harry, 13.
She said Joseph’s diagnosis had completely changed her family’s life and thought it was important to get involved, raising £900 so far from the event.
“I wanted to give something back by raising money for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust,” she said.
“Being told your two week old baby has a life threatening condition is heartbreaking. But with Joseph's medication, treatment and the care from the cystic fibrosis clinic at Bristol Children's Hospital he is a happy, smiley, little boy.
“More research will mean that Joseph and lots more children, will be happy, healthy grownups.”
Anyone wishing to donate can do so by calling Sally on 07593 797165.
Money raised will enable the Cystic Fibrosis Trust to invest in cutting edge research to develop better treatments and eventually find a cure.
It will also provide support to those with cystic fibrosis and their families and help the Trust to drive up standards in medical care.
Find out more about the charity group at www.cysticfibrosis.org.uk or call helpline 0300 3731000.