In October 2015 Spencer was born with Cystic Fibrosis (CF). Parents, Olivia and Mathew, and family had little awareness and understanding of this devastating disease. Olivia and Mathew spend a minimum of an hour per day completing physio exercises to help clear Spencer's lungs and have to be constantly vigilant in taking him out in the cold or around others with the common cold or flu as it can take Spencer weeks to recover.
Cystic Fibrosis primarily affects the lungs and digestive system because of a malfunction in the exocrine system, responsible for producing saliva, sweat, tears and mucus.
There is currently no cure. People with CF develop an abnormal amount of excessively thick and sticky mucus within the lungs, airways and the digestive system. The mucus causes impairment of the digestive functions of the pancreas and traps bacteria in the lungs resulting in recurrent infections, which lead to irreversible damage and shorten sufferers life span. Lung failure is the major cause of death for someone with CF.
From birth, a person with CF undergoes constant medical treatments and physiotherapy.
CF is ‘autosomal recessive’ meaning that it occurs equally in males and females, the CF gene must be inherited from both parents and it can ‘skip’ generations.
In Australia, one in 2,500 babies are born with CF, that’s one every four days. On average one in 25 people carry the CF gene - most of whom are unaware that they are carriers. Because carriers of CF are unaffected (and therefore show no symptoms) it is hard for them to appreciate that CF may be a real risk. Any of us could be a carrier and we wouldn’t know – think about it, that’s about 1 million unaware carriers – it could be you!
On August 13 Skye Football club will don a special Guernsey featuring roses to help raise awareness of Cystic Fibrosis and its charity 65 Roses. Coach and uncle of Spencer, Ben Walker, said that raising awareness and money for Cystic Fibrosis was key in helping find medications and cures. The CF jumpers will be auctioned at the end of the game with all proceeds going to 65 Roses.
Skye Football Club welcome everyone who would like to show their support for CF to come to watch Skye take on Hampton from 2.00pm at Steve Thompson Oval, Wedge Road Carrum Downs.
For more information on Cystic Fibrosis visit http://www.cysticfibrosis.org.au/