Tracey’s grat­i­tude to road-run­ner pal

Ath­lete raises cash for Cys­tic Fi­bro­sisTrust

The Galloway News - - HIGH COURT CASE - Stephen Nor­ris

A Dal­beat­tie woman bat­tling a lifethreat­en­ing dis­or­der has thanked a friend for sup­port­ing her own race for life.

Tracey Kerr has cys­tic fi­bro­sis (CF), a ge­netic con­di­tion which clogs up her lungs and in­ter­nal or­gans with sticky mu­cus.

The bub­bly 31 year-old needs gru­elling treat­ments to keep her lungs and body work­ing – but has amazed friends and fam­ily with her brav­ery.

Close pal Amy Bell de­cided it was time to help and ran the Ed­in­burgh Half Marathon on Sun­day for the Cys­tic Fi­bro­sis Trust.

Amy, 28, from Dal­beat­tie, raised al­most £1,500 for the char­ity’s re­search into cut­tingedge CF ther­a­pies.

Tracey reg­u­larly at­tends the Western Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal in Ed­in­burgh for spe­cial­ist treat­ment.

She was ad­mit­ted last week with kid­ney prob­lems caused by CF-re­lated di­a­betes.

Tracey’s pan­creas can­not aid di­ges­tion or pro­duce in­sulin be­cause it is clogged with mu­cus.

Speak­ing from hos­pi­tal, Tracey, who is also best pals with Amy’s sis­ter Ash­leigh Mcin­tosh, said: “Amy wanted to sup­port the Cys­tic Fi­bro­sis Trust so they can try to find a cure.

“I don’t be­lieve for a minute it’s go­ing to be hap­pen in my life­time.

“But peo­ple who are di­ag­nosed af­ter me have a re­ally good chance.

“There are new treat­ments be­ing de­vel­oped all the time and they might make a dif­fer­ence to folk in the fu­ture.”

Tracey added: “Amy is a to­tal ma­chine. She’s out run­ning all the time and I had no doubt what­so­ever that she was go­ing to do it.

“Run­ning the race for me was a lovely thing to do and I’m re­ally chuffed she’s done it.”

Amy, a class­room as­sis­tant at Pal­nackie and Col­vend, said: “It is a real in­spi­ra­tion to see how Tracey copes with her con­di­tion.

“She is the kind of per­son who al­ways puts a brave face on things.

“Peo­ple would say to her ‘slow down a bit!’ but she has al­ways be­lieved in liv­ing life to the limit.

“I just hope the money I have raised can help find a cure for this ter­ri­ble dis­ease.”

Tracey hopes to get out of hos­pi­tal to­day to con­tinue self­med­i­cat­ing with in­tra­venous an­tibi­otics at home.

Her lung func­tion is cur­rently sta­ble but she is con­stantly at risk from re­cur­ring in­fec­tions.

To break down and loosen the dan­ger­ous mu­cus for cough­ing up, she uses neb­u­liser drugs and a de­vice which vi­brates her ch­est when she breathes out.

She also needs night-time nu­tri­tion through a tube into her stom­ach to keep her weight up.

Tracey, who has been mar­ried to hubby Ja­son for four years, said: “I don’t feel hard done by at all. You only have one life.

“I sim­ply be­lieve I have a dif­fer­ent path to go down than most other peo­ple.

“My out­look is to do ev­ery­thing 100 per cent as long as I can. I don’t know how long peo­ple with cys­tic fi­bro­sis have – I don’t have a num­ber.”

She added: “I’m quite lucky in a way be­cause I’ve never needed a trans­plant for my lungs.

“I live my life to the full and trea­sure my time with fam­ily and friends. “That’s what it’s all about. “Laugh­ter is the best medicine as they say.”

Friends for life Tracey Kerr, right, with Amy Bell, left and her sis­ter Ash­leigh Mcin­tosh Right Amy Bell pic­tured af­ter the run with her medal

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