Excerpt from the Official Report of


May 18, 2011

Cystic fibrosis awareness and fundraising walk

S. Simpson: May is Cystic Fibrosis Month in Canada. Once again the Great Strides for cystic fibrosis fundraising walk will be happening on May 29. CF is the most common and fatal genetic disease facing young people in our country. It causes a mucus buildup by damaging the lining of the lungs and blocking enzymes from reaching the intestines to digest food.

It affects about one in 3,600 children in B.C., including my nephew Liam. Liam is 11 years old and full of life and energy, but it is a life that includes regular hospital trips for his tune-ups and his many medications.

However, in the 1960s children with CF rarely lived to attend kindergarten. Today over half live well into their 40s, but it is still not good enough. We are making progress, but we still have a long way to go.

I know how Liam's diagnosis radically changed his family's lives and their daily routines, including significant additional costs, even with government support. Across B.C. families deal with the challenges of CF every day. They face pressures that leave a terrible uncertainty for their future, an uncertainty that includes the time when these young people begin to understand the consequences of their afflictions to their own futures.

These types of pressures have too often led to family breakups, as parents find it increasingly difficult to deal with the strains and realities of CF and the fallout on other aspects of their relationships. This is what makes Cystic Fibrosis Month so important. I am hopeful Liam will live to collect his old age pension, but it will require more supports from government and individuals, including funding for medical research and increased support for CF families.

I'll be walking in the Great Strides fundraiser on May 29 and hope all members and all British Columbians will support the fight against CF. We can beat this disease. We can give our young people with CF, like Liam, back their lives. I know every member in this House would agree that nothing could be more important than giving all CF kids this opportunity. We can make it happen.


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