Maysa Milligan, just 20 months old, loves to go to the playground, cuddle her favourite stuffed kitty, and play with her older siblings. But Milligan’s playtime is interrupted twice a day by a 30-minute nebulizer treatment, followed by chest and back pummelling to loosen the thick, sticky mucus in her lungs. She has Cystic Fibrosis (CF), a fatal genetic disease that prevents her body from absorbing nutrients and fighting infections.
Cystic fibrosis is the most common fatal genetic disease in Canada. One person in 25 is a carrier of the fatal gene. Every week two children are diagnosed and one person dies. There is no cure, but there is cause for hope. Fifty years ago, children did not make it to kindergarten. Today, with improved treatments, 60 per cent live into adulthood. Research is underway to find a cure.
Grandparents Bill and Jacqui Graham of Burns Lake are helping to reach this goal. On Sunday, May 26 from 3 to 4 p.m., Team Maysa will walk five kms around the Lakes District Secondary School track behind the College of New Caledonia in Burns Lake, as part of the nationwide CF Great Strides event. All interested people are invited to join them for a lap or two.
“Our goal is not only to raise money for CF research, but to spread awareness of this disease,” said Jacqui. “We want CF researchers to find a cure for our little granddaughter and the thousands of other children and young adults whose lives are horribly affected by this disease.”
To join Team Maysa, or donate online, go to www.tinyurl.com/GreatStridesTeamMaysa. Donations are being accepted locally at CNC, Process 4 Gallery, and Health In Order.