25-year fight against cystic fibrosis celebrated

Campbell River's CF chapter marks milestone

Twenty-five years of history and success for the Campbell River Chapter of Cystic Fibrosis Canada was celebrated March 12.

The chapter began as a branch of the Powell River Chapter when eight people held the first meeting on May 16, 1983 to strategize how they would work towards finding a cure for the devastating disease, cystic fibrosis (CF). Sixteen-month-old Kim Black had been diagnosed with CF just one month earlier. The minutes of that meeting included a heartfelt thank you: “The Black family would like to thank everyone for their terrific support in forming this branch. We feel any contribution towards the (CF) foundation means more research and increases the chances of finding a cure for Kimmy’s disease. It is our most sincere and deepest hope that a cure will soon be found so she can live as full a life as the rest of us.”

These words are as meaningful today as they were then and extend to the entire Campbell River community on behalf of all families who deal with CF.

While a cure has not yet been found, medical treatment for people with cystic fibrosis has improved significantly and little Kimmy Black is now almost 30-years-old, is married and works as a nurse in Vancouver.

Ryan Mennie, representing the Mayor and Council welcomed 100 people who attended the event.  They heard exciting news about advances in cystic fibrosis research and the positive clinical trials of several new medications from Dr. Mark Chilvers, Director of the CF Clinic at BC Children’s Hospital. They also heard a heartfelt tribute to the chapter, volunteers and the community from Tara Black, Kim’s eldest sister.  As well, representatives of groups, eras or milestones in the growth of the chapter lit one of 25 candles. Candle lighters included Bob and Linda Brind’Amour on behalf of their son Rod who has been a major supporter of the CF cause, Pat Mairs, Bonni Roset and other founders of the chapter, Mike Hamilton, Mackenzie Norris who have CF, Jim Costain, president of the Campbell River Kinsmen, Rob Browning, former Zellers manager and the 25th candle was lit by Kim Black.

Over the 25 years the chapter has raised close to $2.5 million dollars which has helped improve the lives of people with CF. However, president of the chapter Jo-Ann Wallis cautions “we still have a way to go before we can truly celebrate – we want to see the initials CF which now stand for cystic fibrosis change to stand for cure found. Then we will truly celebrate.”

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