Thursday, 14 May 2015

What did you just say?!?!

The words in this title echo around the world from people who have never met and yet have something in common; they just received bad news from their doctor. In our peculiar instance, it relates to Cystic Fibrosis (CF), a genetic illness that throws the families of those diagnosed into a tail spin. 

Many have never heard about it, and not knowing what to expect are faced with a slew of emotions. There's no prior warning that their family member who was experience respiratory challenges could have CF, they thought it might have been just asthma.

We are Aware to Care! This is the motto of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Barbados (Cffb). We do so via a number of awareness building programs, including fundraisers.

Though we have been around for some time as an organization, we've only truly emerged to the public during the last year when we had our first fundraising walk which was followed up by our gala dinner earlier this year, while interspersed with awareness campaigns in the malls, health fairs, and even the university.

Have we really made a difference? Not in the way that we would like to since we believe that there are a number of people who are unaware of the condition since it is quite close to asthma.

Last year's symposiums was an eye opener for the public and the medical fraternity, where health care providers from the USA who are specialists in providing treatment came and shared their experiences with us in Barbados.

In Barbados, there is no one really certified to provide the quality care needed for this illness. We're hoping to make a difference by enabling those interested to become certified.

CF is quite expensive to care for, especially for local families. The medication is not readily available on island and has to be imported. No two people who have it and are not of the same family should be in close proximity as they can contaminate each other and it can prove fatal to them. Special care is needed in all instances including medical emergencies like hurricanes.

Our volunteer base is growing but there's still a need for more people since there's quite a bit to do. We would welcome your help in any way you can. Please visit our website for more details at www.cfbarbados.org.

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