A BURSCOUGH family are the latest recipients of a CLF grant which will help their children who BOTH have an incurable condition.
Sienna and Noah Woods, who are just 21 months and eight months old, both have Cystic Fibrosis and go through daily exercises to keep their lungs working efficiently.
Their parents, Shelby and Martin, have been fundraising tirelessly to raise money to purchase an electric air pulse vest. Thanks to family and friends’ efforts with everything from triathlons to bake sales they had already raised £3,600. But the vest is £8,000 so they applied to Community Link Foundation who agreed to donate £4,400.
The vest has now been ordered and as soon as Sienna turns two, she will be able to start using it on a daily basis. The vest is a machine which vibrates against the skin and helps move mucus around the lungs.
Shelby said: “Sienna and Noah are the happiest kids you’ll ever see, even when they’re not well. Sienna is such a funny, little girl. She doesn’t always want to do the physio but we try to make games of it and she will be persuaded when she sees her little brother doing it too.
“I’ve got really high hopes for the vest and making it part of our daily routine. We’re so grateful for all the donations we’ve had and incredibly grateful to Community Link Foundation for the grant that has meant that we have been able to place the order.”
Enda Rylands, chairman of Community Link Foundation, said: “As soon as we read the application from the Woods family, we wanted to help them and fortunately, due to the fundraising of our great supporters, we were in a position to do this.
“I have seen first hand the benefits of these vests and we all really hope that it will help Sienna, and make a difference to all the family.”
Shelby and Martin do two hours of physio a day with the children and the time wearing the vest will be additional to that. The children take part in ballet, football, gymnastics and swimming to incorporate exercise into their daily routines.
People with Cystic Fibrosis aren’t meant to come into contact with each other due to cross infection but as siblings this adds other demands to family life. They can’t share feeding spoons or drinking bottles and even have to be careful with toys.
There are 10,000 people in the UK with Cystic Fibrosis and the family want to raise awareness of the condition.
Shelby said: “It is known as a silent disease because the children look well so people think it’s OK to be around us. But what is just a cough or a cold to someone else, can be life threatening for our family.”
The fundraising will now continue so they can purchase a vest for when Noah turns two. His dad and friends are cycling from Blackpool Tower to the Eiffel Tower in July.
• This Saturday they are holding a St Patrick’s Day fundraising event at the Royal British Legion in Burscough. There is a live band, hot pot and raffle. Tickets are available on the door for £5.
• For more information search for the Facebook page, Steps for Sienna No Stopping for Noah. For more details about Community Link Foundation go to www.clfoundation.co.uk.