The most common life-limiting genetic illness in Australia, Cystic Fibrosis (CF) causes an abnormal build-up of thick, sticky mucus in the lungs, airways and digestive system. There is no cure.
That’s why Cystic Fibrosis Community Care is calling on Melbournians to take Great Strides for cystic fibrosis and to join them at this year’s Great Strides Walk.
Held at Albert Park Lake on Sunday 17th September, Great Strides is the annual fun run/walk for Cystic Fibrosis Community Care.
Great Strides is set to attract over 1000 people who will stride for CF, enjoying a great family atmosphere, entertainment, food and of course exercise!
One of those striding in 2023 is Harry Coffey. Harry, who rode in the Melbourne Cup in 2021 and 2022, is one of Victoria’s top jockeys.
Harry knows all too well about the challenges growing up with cystic fibrosis, having being diagnosed as a baby.
“As a kid growing up, I remember every day would start with mum walking into the room and putting me on a nebulizer for 10 minutes, getting everything going. Then getting onto the flutter* and doing ten sets of ten. Mum used to sit in the bedroom and make sure I did it. She'd do push-ups or sit-ups while I did my physio,” says Harry.
“Then you'd get up, head off to school and try to keep up with the other kids all day while sneaking in tablets every time you ate, hoping someone wouldn’t be staring and wondering what your putting down your gob in the middle of the school yard.”
Harry’s childhood memories of growing up with cystic fibrosis are a long way from where he now spends most of his time on horseback.
While advancements to treatments for cystic fibrosis have come a long way, there is still a lot of work to be done to support people to living with cystic fibrosis and ultimately find a cure. That’s why events like Great Strides are so important.
In 2023 Cystic Fibrosis Community Care is aiming to raise $150,000, with all funds supporting the CF community with the cost of nebulisers and medications, fitness-related expenses, emergency financial assistance, as well as education, social work, and ongoing advocacy.
Join Harry and his family and take Great Strides on Sunday 17th September.
Register at: www.greatstrides.org.au