Morning Tea for Cystic Fibrosis Queensland - "65 Roses" Month of May
Directors of the Cystic Fibrosis Queensland Board; Distinguished Guests, Supporters, ladies and gentlemen,
It is a pleasure for Kaye and me to welcome you all to Government House for this celebration of 65 Roses Month.
Last week, I was very interested to read on the ABC’s website a story about the growing number of cystic fibrosis sufferers living in the regions.
At one level, it was a relatively ordinary story. Australia’s regions are terrific places in which to live, and at 30 years old, the woman interviewed had made the same decision as so many of her peers – that is, to try life in an interesting part of our country.
What made this story extraordinary was that, while 30 years of age is certainly young by community standards, just a decade ago, a person with Cystic Fibrosis had a life expectancy of only 18 years. Today that life expectancy has risen to almost 38 years.
This remarkable improvement gives hope to people living with Cystic Fibrosis and their families, and I note that research is underway which promises to further extend quality of life and life expectancy.
The other aspect of that ABC story which resonated with me, as your Patron, is that of the 3000 sufferers across the nation, around 1000 of them – fully one third – seek support from Cystic Fibrosis Queensland.
Queensland’s benevolent climate and the outstanding medical care offered to people with cystic fibrosis are two reasons why the CF community in our State is so proportionately large, but the third reason is surely the effective support and services provided by Cystic Fibrosis Queensland.
Once an organisation focussed on supporting children and their families, Cystic Fibrosis Queensland has risen magnificently to the challenge of also providing services and support to adults living with Cystic Fibrosis, to raise awareness of the disease and to advocate on behalf of sufferers.
Just as crucially, particularly in 65 Roses month, it fundraises: for support services, for research, and we hope – ultimately – for a cure.
“65 Roses”, the child’s mispronunciation of a deadly disease, has become, like the rose, a symbol of love and hope. I am honoured to serve as your Patron, and this month, be assured Kaye and I will be encouraging all Queenslanders to donate to this most important cause.