Generous community help to change lives of people with cystic fibrosis - Institute for Respiratory Health

Generous community help to change lives of people with cystic fibrosis

Tuesday, September 28, 2021 | Community

A long-standing community fundraising event held at Fraser’s Restaurant in King’s Park since 2003 is improving the health and wellbeing of West Australian’s with cystic fibrosis through life-changing research.

With more than $476,000 raised, the Glenn Brown Memorial Fund has supported nine essential CF research projects from stem-cell research looking at repairing the lung cells of people with CF; evaluating the effectiveness of telehealth CF clinics in regional WA in enhancing the quality of life and lung function for those with CF and ways of improving the wellbeing of CF adults who might be impacted by anxiety and depression.

The Glenn Brown Memorial Fund was started by mums Janeine Thomas and Alison Guest in memory of Glenn Brown, a young boy from Kalgoorlie, who sadly died from CF when he was just 15 years old.

“I met Glenn when my daughter was undergoing CF treatment alongside him at Perth Children’s Hospital in 2003,” said Janeine.

“He told me that he wasn’t ready to die and he didn’t want to be forgotten.

“Alison and I wanted to make sure his memory would live on forever, so we started a fundraising event on Melbourne Cup day to raise monies to fund life-changing research to hopefully find a cure one day.

“After 14 years we decided to hand it over to the events’ team at the Institute for Respiratory Health.

“We’re so grateful to everyone who’s supported the event for 18 years. We had no idea it would raise this amount, we’re so pleased so many people are being helped through the ground-breaking projects funded by the Glenn Memorial Fund.

“But even more importantly Glenn’s life is celebrated and honoured.”

Geoff Stewart, Director at the Institute for Respiratory Health, said every dollar raised funds CF research projects that are helping to improve the quality of life for people living with CF.

“This year tickets sold out six weeks’ in advance of the event running. I can’t thank the community enough in helping us achieve this and also for supporting us for the past 18 years,” said Geoff.

“The community’s generosity is overwhelming. Almost everything on the day is kindly donated, borrowed or gifted. We have countless volunteers who freely give their time to help run the event and then there are our charitable guests.”

CF causes a wide range of symptoms, but patients usually develop thick sticky mucus in the lungs, digestive system and other organs. In the lungs, in particular, this increases the risk of infections, and patients can become severely unwell from a simple cold.