Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month at Randox Biosciences
May is National Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Awareness Month. The purpose of having the awareness month is to educate and raise additional awareness to the public about the horrible disease and how it affects those who suffer. According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, more than 30,000 people are living with cystic fibrosis. More than 75% of these people are diagnosed in their early childhood 1.
What is CF?
Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic, life-threatening disease which affects the respiratory and digestive system. A person with CF is born with the condition and therefore it is not possible to catch it from someone else. The gene affected by CF controls the movement of salt and water in and out of cells, which results in a build-up of thick sticky mucus in the lungs, digestive system and other organs. This causes a wide range of challenging symptoms affecting the entire body.2
Symptoms of CF:
There are many symptoms to Cystic Fibrosis which can make life for someone who suffers with CF challenging. The build-up of sticky mucus in the lungs can make breathing difficult and clog up the pancreas which as a result can increase the risk of developing a lung infection or worse, death. This can make it difficult for those who have CF to absorb nutrients from food properly and therefore they must eat more calories to avoid malnutrition. Other symptoms include the following:3
- recurring chest infections
- wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath and damage to the airways (bronchiectasis)
- difficulty putting on weight and growing
- diarrhoea, constipation, or large, smelly poo
- a bowel obstruction in new-born babies (meconium ileus) – surgery may be needed
Complications of CF:
3People with CF also have a higher risk of developing other conditions. These include:
- weak and brittle bones (osteoporosis)– medicines called bisphosphonates can sometimes help
- diabetes– insulin and a special diet may be needed to control blood sugar levels
- nasal polyps and sinus infections – steroids, antihistamines, antibiotics or sinus flushes can help
- liver problems
- fertility problems – it’s possible for women with CF to have children, but men won’t be able to father a child without help from fertility specialists (see a doctor or fertility specialist for more advice)
4There is no cure for CF, but with improved treatment and management people with Cystic Fibrosis are living longer. It’s thought that children born with CF nowadays are likely to live to an average age of over 50 years old.
How we can help:
Randox Biosciences offer the Vivalytic with the Chronic Lung Disease cartridge, in combination with our intelligent Biochip Array Technology which detects 132 pathogens. The 132 species are simultaneously detected across this 320 Array including bacterial, viral, fungal targets and an antibiotic resistance marker from a single sputum sample!
With the January blues in full force we decided to have a look back over all the wonderful events that Randox staff took part in during 2016. Together Randox staff rallied together to raise money for numerous events and charities making a huge difference to the lives of others.
Back in April Rachel Walls, our technical support specialist in Ardmore initiated a bake sale on behalf of her sister, Ursula McKenna who ran both the Dublin Marathon and Manchester half Marathon in aid of Cystic Fibrosis Trust. The bake sale was a roaring success and Randox staff enjoyed a selection of scrumptious buns raising a total of £308 that went towards Ursula’s total fundraising amount of £3000.
“Our cousin suffers from Cystic Fibrosis, and running a few marathons is easy compared to what he has to deal with on a daily basis.”
Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic condition caused by a faulty gene that controls the movement of salt and water across the cell wall. This causes mucus to build up in the lungs and digestive tract, causing problems with breathing and digestion. An estimated 1 in 2,500 babies born in the UK have Cystic Fibrosis, with more than 2.5 million people in the UK carrying the faulty gene. Currently there is no cure for Cystic Fibrosis, however there are treatments to help manage the symptoms. The Cystic Fibrosis Trust helps suffers by funding cutting-edge research, driving up standards of care and supporting people with the condition and their loved ones every step of the way.
May was the month that Randox staff and the Randox Biosciences department joined together to help raise awareness of stroke by wearing purple clothes to work.
Stoke is a brain attack that occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. Blood carries essential nutrients and oxygen to the brain so without blood your brain cells can be damaged or die.
This damage can have different effects, depending on where it happens in your brain. A stroke can affect the way your body works as well as how you think, feel and communicate. The Stroke Association have dedicated the month of May to raising awareness and increasing the public’s knowledge of this condition.
In July Gary Laverty, one of our software developers who works in our Laurelbank site took a beating when he allowed Randox staff to throw water balloons at him in order to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. This charity aims to improve the lives of everyone who is diagnosed with cancer. Their aim is to make life a little brighter and ensure that no one faces this horrible disease alone. They are on hand to offer assistance right from the beginning of a diagnosis, through treatment and beyond, including support to the wider family circle.
Gary raised a total of £409.38 on the day which was presented to Margaret Young from Macmillan Cancer Support at Randox headquarters in Crumlin.
Gary Laverty said,
“When my father was ill last year, Macmillan offered tremendous support to both him and my family. Their commitment to helping cancer patients is incredible, really life-changing. I debated a few fundraising ideas but thought that the water balloon idea was something unusual so I hoped people would see it as a really fun event. The fundraiser went really well and I am delighted at the amount we raised for such an amazing charity! My colleagues got really involved and it was a really fun event, thankfully it wasn’t too cold on the day!”
In the months leading up to Christmas Randox Teoranta in Dungloe our team of scientists engineers and software developers organised a Christmas shoebox appeal in conjunction with Team Hope, a charity based in Ireland, who for the past 18 years have delivered Christmas shoebox gifts to over three million children in some of the remotest and poorest parts of the world. Randox Teoranta filled a total of 54 boxes with items ranging from school essentials, clothes, hats, scarves gloves and socks and of course extra special gifts for Christmas including games toys, sweets and even musical instruments.
Claire Newbon, Manufacturing Operative said,
“Within the team here at Randox Teoranta we are all very fortunate to have great jobs, loving families and a roof over our heads. But we are very aware that there are adults and children in other parts of the world who aren’t so lucky, through no fault of their own.
“At the most joyful time of the year, the Teoranta team wanted to be able to share the magic of Christmas with those children who would otherwise not get any presents.”
In the week leading up to Christmas Randox staff organised a Christmas jumper day with donations going towards Save the Children and a Christmas raffle on behalf of Hope 365. £640.25 was raised for Save the Children, and £4464.00 was raised for Hope 365, which would go towards furnishing “Hope Homes” in Ethiopia so that the children will have somewhere peaceful to sleep at night.
The Christmas raffle took place on 23rd December during which all staff from each site came together to see if they were lucky enough to win any of the prizes that were on offer. Prizes included a 55inch TV, M&S and Amazon vouchers, Christmas hampers, an IPad Air 2 and an extra day’s annual leave.
Randox Teoranta in Donegal also held their own Christmas Raffle and Coffee Morning with all proceeds going towards the local hospital in Dungloe. A total of €740 was raised for the hospital which was greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your generous donations throughout the year, we hope that we can continue to support charities and events throughout 2017.
If you would like to further support Hope 365 they are actively seeking 52 people to take part in a marathon or part of a marathon this year, to compliment a person who is running 52 marathons in one year for the charity. There is also a football academy, endorsed by Paddy McNair, which is taking place in July in Ethopia if you would like to get involved with this. For further information, please contact Internal Communications.
If you would like to get involved with charity fundraising in 2017, please share your ideas with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.