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deserving

My name is Caroline Poynton and I'm the mum of Matthew John Kennedy Poynton. We're from Tallaght in Dublin. I work in the IFSC in Dublin city centre and I am currently on maternity leave.

I had a very good pregnancy. My son Matthew is now 10 weeks old and he was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF) when he was four weeks old. Matthew's dad, Luke, and myself were tested during my pregnancy for the CF gene and it was confirmed that we were both carriers.

Luke's niece has CF and this is why we decided to get tested. Even though we understood the results, it was still a shock to hear of Matthew's diagnosis just four weeks after he was born. We were very lucky to have the diagnosis so early, due to the newborn screening which has only included CF testing since September 2011. Today, Matthew is a normal, healthy bundle of joy.

To date, the CF team in Tallaght Hospital, the Cystic Fibrosis Association of Ireland (CFAI) and our families have been a fantastic support. Any issues, questions or worries we may have, the CFAI are very happy to help. We are never left feeling alone.

Because of this I decided to walk the Flora Women's Mini Marathon again in aid of CFAI. Luke previously has helped raise money for CFAI and continues to donate yearly. The work that the CFAI does is fantastic; personally I feel the association deserves more recognition for the work that it does.

I have always loved the day of the Flora Women's Mini Marathon; it's great fun and now it means more to me due to Matthew.

I plan on walking the route with my two sisters, Emma and Sarah. We are looking forward to a fun and enjoyable day and we hope to raise funds and more awareness for CFAI.

Founded in 2010, the '1 in 1000' campaign has raised more than €400,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Association of Ireland. This resulted in the opening of a new four-bed facility in Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin and the introduction of newborn CF screening and support services for parents of newly diagnosed children with CF.

The aim of the CFAI this year was to recruit 1,000 women for the Flora Women's Mini Marathon, to raise funds to provide new and additional isolation units for children and adults in Dublin, Drogheda, Castlebar and Limerick.

This would mean that people with CF could have centres with adequate facilities to avoid cross infection when they attend hospital. These services are not an option for better health, they are essential and they are needed now.

For more information on the Cystic Fibrosis Association of Ireland or to donate, go to www.cfireland.ie


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