Bid to raise CF funds shifts up a gear
A "GET-on-yer-bike" appeal has been launched by fundraisers supporting cystic fibrosis (CF) sufferers.
The target is to raise €4.2m to build a CF adult centre at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick city.
The group, which comprises the families and friends of sufferers based in Tipperary, Limerick and Clare, has already raised almost €1m.
But their efforts to secure funding are now being stepped up a notch after an application for planning permission for the proposed facilities was lodged.
Cystic fibrosis is Ireland's most common life-threatening inherited disease. One in 19 people here is a carrier of the CF gene; and where two carriers parent a child together, there is a one in four chance of the baby being born with the disease.
With 1,300 patients at present, Ireland has the highest proportion of CF sufferers in the world.
One of the main fundraisers, Caitriona Hayes, told the Irish Independent last night: "Thirty or 40 years ago, a baby born with CF was only likely to live for a few months. But with advances in research and treatment the majority survive well into adulthood."
Caitriona and her friends in the three counties set up the tlc4cf.com website 18 months ago to highlight their campaign.
Their next effort is a 100km cycle on Saturday, September 25. The cycle will start in Limerick and pass through Tipperary and Clare before returning to the city.
"We chose TLC for our name as, apart from representing the three counties, it also stands for total lung capacity and tender loving care," said Caitriona.
"Our aim is to pay for adult inpatient and outpatient isolation units at the hospital in Limerick. These units would eliminate the risk of picking up an infection while in hospital and assure sufferers that they will feel better when they are discharged."