Race is on to tackle disease

Dawn Braham (right) with Ellen Gardner and a selection of their prizes. Picture by FRANK REID
Dawn Braham (right) with Ellen Gardner and a selection of their prizes. Picture by FRANK REID

page 11 oct 6 lead, pics attached

A CYSTIC Fibrosis sufferer is urging people to show their support and help to raise enough money to fund treatment to give patients a better quality of life.

The Cystic Fibrosis Trust is the closest it has ever been to improving the lives of the thousands of sufferers thanks to a new gene therapy trial.

The condition affects the internal organs by clogging them with thick sticky mucus, making it hard for the sufferer to breathe and digest food, but this new treatment could extend the lives of sufferers by decades.

Specialists have been hard at work for 10 years to find a way of inserting a healthy gene into Cystic Fibrosis patients’ lungs to ensure the damaging effects of the faulty gene are stopped in their tracks.

The UK CF Gene Therapy Consortium, which is funded by the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, say it is now at an exciting stage of development, but could come unstuck.

Medics are ready to start testing the new products on patients, but must raise £6m by the end of this month to fund the innovative trial.

So far kindhearted people have raised £700,000, an impressive amount but still far short of the required target.

Dawn Braham, 41, who lives in Greatham, was diagnosed with the condition when she was just three-years-old.

The part-time mobile beauty therapist says she only has a mild form of Cystic Fibrosis, but still has to take 60 tablets every day and struggles with any form of physical activity.

Dawn realises the importance of the development of the gene therapy trial for sufferers throughout the country and is asking the people of Hartlepool to show their support.

The mum of Daniel, 22, has organised a race night taking place later this month.

She said: “This treatment would be a huge breakthrough, it’s light at the end of the tunnel.

“I’m quite fortunate in that I have a mild form of the condition but it can be really bad for people.

“It’s life threatening, only half of sufferers live past the age of 38.

“This gene therapy will be life changing for people, any support we can offer at all will be a huge help.”

The race night, which will also feature a raffle and an auction, is taking place at the Camerons Club, in Waldon Street, Hartlepool on Saturday, October 15.

The action will get underway at 7pm.

“Lloyds TSB, in Hartlepool, have said they will match whatever we raise up to £500 which is a huge boost,” added Dawn.

Louise Banks, PR manager for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, said: “We are hugely grateful to the community for organising events like this one but we are also exploring other avenues to help us reach the target.

“It’s too much to ask to expect the community to do it all for us.”

Tickets, priced at £2, are available from Dawn by calling 07941881405.

People can also donate by visiting http://www.justgiving.com/Dawn-Braham.