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  • Writer's pictureRichard Blades

The improvement of testing

12 years ago, the process of testing for Cystic Fibrosis [CF] was quite different when administering the sweat test. How do we know? We found out from The Turtons who happen to be getting their last child tested.

Keila's older brother Josha has CF, and therefore she's at high risk for also having the illness as well. As you may be aware, the testing cannot be done locally within the Caribbean, and therefore we must trek to the metropolitan areas for diagnosis and treatments.

Nowadays, this process of testing takes 20 minutes, but it is unavailable within the Caribbean, and in particular Barbados. This is why we are Aware to Care. We are seeking to raise funds so that we can have trained doctors on the island who can administer this testing and the requisite care for patients who have CF.

CF is an expensive illness and the associated medical costs are staggering on a monthly basis. The medication alone just for the patient(s) to stay alive is a struggle for a household with both parents working and insurance assistance may be in place.

Barbadians with CF are visiting the USA for treatments, which require multiple visits within the year. Doctors recommend 3 visits per patient annually. Since CF sufferers are highly susceptible to illnesses caused by bacteria that can prove fatal if untreated.

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Barbados is always seeking to assist families struggling with the costs of caring for their loved ones. Finding dedicated volunteers who are committed for the long haul is challenging. Those impacted by the illness are saddled with the responsibility of working to find money to keep their loved ones alive, let alone the commitment of functioning within a charitable body which requires a strong commitment and dedication.

When we put on fundraisers, the interest wanes financially when it is repeatedly the same people/organizations who are called upon for assistance, not only by us, but by other organizations as well. We take this opportunity to thank you who continue to support us despite the increasingly challenging economic environment facing our nation. We offer our heartfelt gratitude.

Beyond our programs for helping families, we are seeking funding to get more pediatric pulmonologist and associated medical personal trained so that we can have local treatment programs started. The medication is not available locally neither, and their costs is quite expensive, more so given the associated additions of using foreign exchange and importation costs.

We are in dire need of help to assist the families. Also needed is a secretariat (a property out of which we can have a dedicated official presence). Donors and sponsors are welcomed!

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