Tak­ing strides to beat dis­ease

The Cobram Courier - - NEWS - By David Rak

Re­becca and Jamie Nye weren’t quite sure how to re­act when their son, Mack, was di­ag­nosed with cys­tic fi­bro­sis at just five weeks old.

With no fam­ily history of the dis­ease, Re­becca and her hus­band had lit­tle idea about cys­tic fi­bro­sis or what it would mean for their son.

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 the dis­ease de­velop an ab­nor­mal amount of ex­ces­sively thick and sticky mu­cus in 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.

Lung fail­ure is the ma­jor cause of death for some­one with cys­tic fi­bro­sis.

At 19 weeks old, Mack has had no ma­jor prob­lems arise from his con­di­tion, but his par­ents are re­al­is­tic about the road ahead.

‘‘At this early stage, he is symp­tom­less and although we are hope­ful he will main­tain his good health, we know there will be some chal­lenges along the way,’’ Re­becca said.

‘‘We take each day as it comes and will con­tinue keep­ing Mack as healthy as pos­si­ble for as long as pos­si­ble.’’

In a quest to raise funds and aware­ness for cys­tic fi­bro­sis re­search, Re­becca and Jamie have teamed up with 11 other peo­ple for Great Strides Bendigo.

Great Strides is a fun run and walk which raises aware­ness and funds for cys­tic fi­bro­sis or­gan­i­sa­tions around Aus­tralia.

‘‘Cys­tic Fi­bro­sis Com­mu­nity Care has been very help­ful for us, as we have a lot of travel to Mel­bourne for Mack,’’ Re­becca said.

‘‘We want to give back to an or­gan­i­sa­tion that helps a lot of peo­ple like us and we hope there will be a cure in Mack’s life­time.

‘‘In the mean­time, we will con­tinue our sup­port to keep kids like Mack as healthy as pos­si­ble for as long as pos­si­ble.’’

To sup­port the fundrais­ing ef­fort, head to: https://gs2017bendigo.ev­ery­day­hero.com/au/mov­ing-for-mack

In­spired to help: Team ‘Mov­ing for Mack’ will lace up their run­ning shoes as they look to raise money for cys­tic fi­bro­sis re­search at the Great Strides Bendigo Fun Run and Walk.

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