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Thursday 21 June 2018

'I want to show people behind-the-scenes in my life' - model (26) with CF undertakes 65-day exercise and dietary regime

Ashe Spillane.
Ashe Spillane.

Fergus Dennehy

Ashe Spillane is no stranger to hardships, having spent her whole life fighting against the debilitating genetic disorder Cystic Fibrosis (CF), but now she's set herself 65 days of fundraising, dietary and exercise goals.

Now, though, the 26-year old model and make up artist is facing an entirely different type of challenge, as she takes part in a gruelling 65 day campaign to help increase her lung function from 39 per cent to 65 per cent or over.

With the national fundraising day for CF Ireland coming up on Friday, April 13, Ashe has set about taking part in her own ‘65 days for 65 Roses’ campaign to help raise awareness of and vital funds for the charity.

CF is an inherited chronic disease that primarily affects the lungs and digestive system of about 1,300 children and adults in the Ireland (70,000 worldwide). It is more common in Ireland than in any other country in the world, according to statistics released this week.

Having already surpassed her online fundraising target of €650 – at the time of writing, she has raised €1,220 –Ashe is now undertaking a new and improved exercise and dietary regime. She now hopes that her lifestyle changes will help improve her overall health, something which said suffered badly in 2017.

"My health has not been great over the past year, especially over Christmas, I was quite sick and was in and out of hospitals on IV’s and antibiotics. I was very demotivated to do any exercise, so I decided this year, to do my own challenge to help raise funds, awareness and improve my health," said Ashe, talking to The Kerryman.

For once I went out and didnt wear any black Whole outfit - penneys

A post shared by ASHE SPILLANE (@allaboutashe) on

"My lung function was at 39 per cent as of late January, which is not good. Anything below 30 per cent and you are looking at needing have a transplant, so getting more exercise was a vital step for me," she continued.

"Exercise is huge for people with Cystic Fibrosis, it slows the rate of decline in lung function, help clear mucus from the lungs, allowing for easier breathing. It’s something that has been very difficult for me this past year," she said.

Ashe admits that while she initially found getting back into exercise a difficult step – "something as walking up the stairs is something I would have struggled with" – she now says that she is feeling the benefits of a consistent exercise regime.

"I started off slowly you know, just going for walks on the treadmill and on the beach, where the salty air can be quite helpful for my lungs. I’ve slowly but surely been able to build it up over the days, I can do so much more now than I used to be able to do," she added.

"Many people with CF will lose their appetite during times of infection, so it’s important that people eat enough to gain calories. This is something I haven’t been great at over the years. Sometimes, I would only eat maybe one meal a day and that would be it," she said.

“Now, though, thanks to this campaign, I’m not quite up to three full meals a day yet, but I’m eating a lot more than I would have normally. It’s definitely a start," she said.

"With this campaign, I want to show people some of the tougher behind the scenes in the life of a CF sufferer," she finished.

All money raised from Ashe’s fundraising campaign will be going towards Cystic Fibrosis Ireland, which help to fund a number of vital services such as exercise grants,transplant grants and bereavment counselling.

You can donate to Ashe’s campaign at www.gofundme.com/65-days-for-cysticfibrosis and you can follow Ashe’s own CF journey through her ‘allaboutashe’ Instagram page.

Kerryman

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