The Lighthouse Theatre turned red on Friday night to shine a spotlight on people living with cystic fibrosis
Throughout May, awareness is raised about the most common life-shortening recessive genetic disease in Australia through the purchasing and distribution of roses.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, a digital rose will shine across many of the nation's icon buildings including the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Flinders Street Station and the Bolte Bridge.
A Warrnambool resident living with cystic fibrosis said now, more than ever, is the time to support those living with the illness and associated foundations.
"Cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition that affects all areas of the body, with the most predominant impacts being on the lungs and digestive systems," the community member said.
These impacts on the body mean up to 100 tablets a day and several hours of physical therapy to maintain function and to try and stop a further decline in health.
"In recent years, we have had the introduction in new-age medications to treat the cause of the disease rather than the symptoms. This has been groundbreaking.
"For me, it has meant an entire year without hospital admission, when previously I would have four two-week stays a year at a minimum."
The current coronavirus pandemic has seen heightened anxiety levels, isolation and infection control precautions. For someone living with cystic fibrosis, these additional provisions are everyday life.
"At the moment, life is drastically different and even more so for those living with chronic illness and added risk factors," the Warrnambool resident said.
"I for one have been housebound for eight weeks now so I ask you to think of those who are having to be extra cautious at this time.
"My hope for the future is that people can reflect on this time and use their experience of being stuck at home fearing the threat of a virus, to realise how all people with cystic fibrosis live every winter with the threat of mortality that comes with the flu for us.
"Perhaps this is a time to realise that staying at home when you're sick and having the flu shot can help protect the vulnerable, not just this year, but long into the future when this virus has passed."
For the whole month of May you can buy, send or dedicate a rose to be planted in a virtual rose garden via roses4cf.com.au with all funds raised going to Cystic Fibrosis Community Care.
"You will be supporting not only ground-level programs that help with the day-to-day realities of people living with cystic fibrosis, but you're also helping them to continue to advocate for better treatment options for people with cystic fibrosis," the community member said.
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