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Bubbles Week 13-19 October 2014

MEDIA RELEASE

October 2014

Bubbles Week 13-19 October 2014

It’s fun, it’s healthy, and it’s for a good cause. Bubbles Week from 13 to 19 October is New Zealand’s national awareness week for Cystic Fibrosis and will see thousands of Kiwis helping to raise money for those living with the condition.

Cystic Fibrosis affects more than 500 New Zealanders, including about 60 in the Wellington region. It’s the most common life-threatening genetic disorder affecting Kiwi kids. One in every 3000 babies is born with CF.

The condition affects several organs, especially the lungs and pancreas, by clogging them with thick, sticky mucus. It can cause a chronic cough, digestive problems and repeated chest infections. The average life expectancy for those with Cystic Fibrosis is significantly lower than the general population. Ultimately, lung transplantation is often the only option as CF worsens.

Nicole Doriguzzi volunteers as the Chairperson of Cystic Fibrosis Wellington and was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis when she was just 3 days old. Nicole has been hospitalised for intravenous antibiotics 3 times in the last year alone for chest infections. Nicole says “being admitted to hospital for intravenous antibiotics can be really hard. It is painful and it affects your ability to work, relationships and your general mental well being”.

Despite daily medications and physiotherapy Nicole tries to live a normal life; she works part time as an Administrator and volunteers as the Chairperson of Cystic Fibrosis Wellington, as an animal fosterer for the SPCA and she takes shelter puppies weekly to visit the elderly residents at Te Hopai rest home. Nicole says “I don’t want to let Cystic Fibrosis stop me from enjoying my life. Sometimes it can be really hard living with a terminal illness but I try and stay positive and follow my passion for animals and helping others”.

In 2013 Nicole won the Community Trust Young Leader Award and in March this year she won a Young Achiever Award for her volunteer work with Cystic Fibrosis Wellington, the SPCA and the elderly; both were presented by the Governor General.

Several events are being held around Wellington to mark Bubbles Week. The main collection day will be on Friday 17 October when collectors will be at the following sites:

• New World Willis Street

• New World Thorndon

• Cuba Street

• The Railway Station

• Coastlands Mall (Kapiti Coast)

There will also be a stand at Sunday City Market, collectors at Wellington Airport on Thursday 16 October and a BBQ at the Mad Butcher Porirua on Saturday 18 October.

Donations will go towards improving the lives of patients, many of whom are often hospitalised and have to take hundreds of pills each week to manage their condition, and purchasing vital medical equipment that is not currently funded for Cystic Fibrosis. Donations can also be made at www.cfnz.org.nz.


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