Claire Davis of Winnipeg is a Cystic Fibrosis patient, who is getting a little help from her friends, Kendra Hurley and Rylea McEvoy. Together, the Byway Babes are crossing Canada in a canoe, as they raise money for research.
After starting on the West Coast, they passed the midway point of their journey, as they stopped in Kenora last week.
"I went through some really rough patches in my late teens and early 20s," said Davis. "But, the last couple of years have been really good. So, I was like 'I'm at a point where I can,' so we're going to do it now."
They all took time out from work, in order to take part. Hurley's in the process of becoming an electrician, McEvoy fixes aircraft engines and Davis works in greenhouses.
Cystic Fibrosis causes lung infections, and a new generation of drugs and treatments is allowing patients to live longer and more active lives.
Brenda Chambers-Ivey of Kenora was happy to play the role of hostess last week. She's been an advocate for Cystic Fibrosis, since she was 12. As a double-lung transplant recipient, she was pleased to welcome three canoeists, whose efforts will help make new drugs and treatments more affordable.
Chambers-Ivey says there's a new generation of drugs coming on line, and they offer new hope for patients.
"It corrects sort of the basic defects with Cystic Fibrosis. With the new generation drug, it treats the cause," she said, noting previous drugs treated symptoms, including the fibrous mucous that clogged lungs.
Today, Davis says taking two pills a day allows her to make the cross-country trip. When Chambers-Ivey was born, the life expectancy for children diagnosed with the illness was four-years-old.
However, it's not the same for all strains of the illness, as Davis makes reference to a friend who passed away at 25, due to complications from Cystic Fibrosis, and there are new drugs coming on line, which are still far too expensive for most patients to afford.
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