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  • Writer's pictureRichard Blades

Cffb - Are we becoming of age?

If we recount history from March 8, 2023, to April 6, 2011, then we can say that we have been around almost 11 years to the day that we have been functioning as a legal entity representing the needs of those who were impacted by Cystic Fibrosis [CF]. Though the amount of people who have the illness has grown over the years, we celebrate an important element - the growth, strides, and understanding of those affected by CF over the years.

CF created a lot of anxiety and insecurity in an era when we didn't have a full understanding of the illness. Up until 2011, it was unknown to many of us in Barbados. The learning curve was steep, as we sought to come to terms with all the new information and the way CF impacts the sufferer.

We don't have the doctors within the region to provide adequate care for those suffering from CF, hence it is necessary to have overseas trips planned annually for those who seek care and medical attention.

There are still no paediatric pulmonary doctors to provide patient care on the island. To all the professionals who have been providing care on the island, to all the volunteers, to the parents who work tirelessly to provide for their affected children; I have one thing to say:

It is because of you that the impacted children have been able to grow through to this stage of their lives where some are embarking on the path of adulthood.

To the warmth, welcome, and support given over the years from the inception of the Barbados chapter has permitted us to offer care in a limited way to those locals who suffer with CF and we thank you.

Over the years, our supporters, sponsors, donors, friends, quasi-government and government entities who helped us; the private sector entities who partnered with us in various ways. The commercial banks, other charities and various other entities/supporters, we extend heartfelt thanks.

We still have lots of work to do. Ageing parents who are nearing their advanced years would want to know that their work over time has not been in vain. So even though we worked before, our roles will intensify as we go forward. Those we support have survived the pandemic, some of the harshest of economic turmoil, and now they approach adulthood where they may never work in conventional jobs due to the pressures of CF. We don't only need funds, but access to other resources including human capital - brains that know what we don't.

Please come alongside us as we strive at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Barbados to come of age. Heartfelt thanks to one and all.

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