Butler’s Willow Leary leads cystic fibrosis awareness drive

Bianca and Willow Leary.
Picture: Martin
Kennealey           d453854
Bianca and Willow Leary. Picture: Martin Kennealey         d453854

A BUTLER girl is the junior ambassador for this month’s Cystic Fibrosis 65 Roses campaign.

Willow Leary (7) was diagnosed with the disease at birth. Her daily routine includes physiotherapy and taking 30 to 40 tablets.

She tries to maintain a regular routine as much as possible to keep a balance between that routine and school, although her condition means her schooling is often interrupted.

Willow has hospital visits every three months, which include a day trip to see a gastroenterologist, dietician, doctors and physiotherapists, as well as undergoing lung function tests.

When unwell, she often had to stay there for a minimum of two weeks, but Willow has been taking a new drug, called Kalydeco, since January with good results.

Her mother Bianca said she hoped people would get behind the 65 Roses challenge this year to help raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis WA.

“We are not that far away from the development of drugs that will really make a difference to the lives of cystic fibrosis sufferers, including my daughter,” she said.

The campaign aims to raise $65,000, which will be used to provide care for almost 4000 children and young adults living with the disease in Australia and fund research for a cure.

Schools, businesses, sporting clubs and individuals can get involved by hosting a fundraiser, buying a rose from participating outlets, or making a donation at www.cysticfibrosis.org.au.

Last year $19,600 was raised by 20 schools and colleges. Marmion Primary topped the list by collecting $3888.