Jackson’s coming up roses

Sophie ElliottThe West Australian

Busselton’s Jackson Stokes wouldn’t usually be caught on camera with roses in his hand, but the 16-year-old is doing it to promote a cause close to his heart.

The Year 11 St Mary MacKillop College student lives with cystic fibrosis.

May is national cystic fibrosis (CF) awareness month and May 24 is 65 Roses Day in WA.

Jackson hopes by adding his face to the campaign it will help raise awareness about the disease and lead to donations to go towards vital research to find a cure.

Despite being diagnosed at birth, Jackson has managed to lead a healthy and active lifestyle.

He has only been hospitalised twice and has a lung function of 96 per cent.

Jackson takes up to 50 tablets a day and for the past two years has been on a trial for Symdeko, which is in the process of becoming part of the PBS.

His outlook is positive and he admits he is one of the lucky ones.

CF affects every organ in the body but primarily manifests itself in the lungs where it causes a build-up of thick sticky mucus.

This can become infected leading to permanent damage and in some cases the need for a lung transplant.

CFWA CEO Nigel Barker said by West Australians arming themselves with red with roses throughout May, they were helping to continue to increase awareness, improve and expand services and fundraise for research for the debilitating, incurable disease.

“What many people do not realise about CF is how utterly relentless, time consuming, painful, and exhausting this disease is, and that surrounding yourself with other people with CF for support isn’t even possible due to cross-infection,” he said.

“The median age at death of someone living with CF in Australia is just 31.6 years of age, compared to the general population which is 81.65 years of age. There is one day of the year where Western Australian’s are called upon to help close that gap and make a real difference to the lives of those affected and this year that day is Friday, May 24.”

To find out more and how to donate, Visit cfwa.org.au/65roses.

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