One Hunter family has taken on a massive challenge to help raise funds for charity.
Nelson Bay local Verity Chappell, alongside a team of family and friends, set off on a gruelling 65-kilometre walk in the early hours of Saturday morning (20 February) in aid of Cystic Fibrosis Community Care and The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.
Ms Chappell’s daughter, Tylah, was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) at four-weeks-old.
She said her daughter faces “daily challenges” as a result of the non-curable, life-threatening disease.
“CF affects the lungs and the digestive system,” she said.
“So, she constantly has a shortness of breath [and] she has a persistent cough – she’s on 30 to 40 tablets a day,”
“She’s [also] on different medications, because of the sticking mucus in her lungs.
“It also affects her digestive system, so she ends up with trouble with her pancreas.”
According to Cystic Fibrosis Community Care, 1 in 2,500 children in Australia are born with CF.
For people to be diagnosed with the condition, both parents must be carriers of the gene causing the disease.
It is treated in several different ways, including physiotherapy, using nebulisers that open airways, and medications.
Ms Chappell said charities – like Cystic Fibrosis Community Care – help families get in contact with the organisations assisting care and accessing grants.
“They really do look after the CF families, making sure that we are kept informed with any updated information, and anything we can access through the community to help make these kids lives just a little bit easier,” she said.
Ms Chappell participated in the 65k 4 65 Roses Walkathon for the seventh time this year.
However, thanks to COVID-19 restrictions, her team had to organise their own walk through the streets of Nelson Bay.
She said her goal was to raise money and awareness for CF in the community.
“Giving up for us is not an option, because we would never tell Tylah just to give up or don’t worry, we’re not prepared to do that,” she said.
“So, we’re going to have 14 hours, or there abouts, of physical pain [and] mental pain.”
“But you know, that’s nothing compared to what CF suffers with on a daily basis.
Team Tylah raised more than $10,000, visit the 65k 4 65 Roses Walkathon website for more information or to donate.