Help more Scots Cystic Fibrosis patients to '˜Get active'

SCOTTISH charity The Leanne Fund has appealed for help to roll out the successful '˜Get Active' service to even more Cystic Fibrosis patients.

Leanne Mitchell. Picture: Contributed

The charity, which assists those living with Cystic Fibrosis in the Highlands and Islands, and is currently expanding to Grampian, is planning to extend the Get Active service but needs support to secure vital funds.

The Aviva Community Fund offers the chance for local community projects to win funding and those behing the Leanne Fund want the public to vote between now and noon on Friday to win them some extra cash.

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CF patients follow a rigorous daily treatment programme - an adult with CF spends an average two hours daily on their treatment regime. Each week, five babies are born with CF and two young lives are lost. There is no cure.

Because CF is a progressive disease, the burden of treatment and permanent presence of symptoms can be stressful for everyone.

As people with CF live longer they are likely to need more complex care and more treatment, placing a huge psychological burden on the patient, families and carers.

The Cystic Fibrosis Trust has compiled a comprehensive document detailing the standards of care required to meet the needs of CF sufferers and how these should be implemented to ensure the best quality of life possible.

The services provided by The Leanne Fund are a direct response to these Standards of Care.

The development and delivery of the Get Active service highlights how The Leanne Fund is enabling individuals with Cystic Fibrosis to be fitter, healthier and more independent.

Individuals with CF should be encouraged to take part in as much physical activity as possible.

Through this project the Fund aim to support young people with the purchase of these items, delivered directly to their home to help them get fitter.

By providing CF sufferers with their own exercise equipment, issues of cross infection are kept to a minimum.

Exercise is fundamental in the management of Cystic Fibrosis and following the introduction of the ‘Get Active’ pilot in 2013/14, 37 young people with CF across Highlands & Islands have been supported with the provision of sport/fitness equipment to help them improve and maintain fitness.

Clinical staff have highlighted the requirement of additional funding to purchase exercise equipment for CF patients but this is not available on the NHS.

As part of this service and in conjunction with the CF Physiotherapist, applicants will also have individually tailored exercise programmes that are regularly monitored and frequently re-evaluated, particularly important as the disease progresses.

This has shown to enhance the quality of life of CF patients who on average will spend two hours every day on their treatments and therapies.

The Get Active service has been successfully piloted in Highlands and Islands.

Feedback has been extremely positive with many reporting a marked increase in their fitness levels and their lung function.

It was also noted that the majority of applicants would not have been able to engage in fitness activities without the support of The Leanne Fund. Support from Aviva would allow this service to be rolled out to CF patients in Grampian. 

The Leanne Fund was set up in 2009 in memory of Leanne Mitchell from the Isle of Lewis.

The charity funds special treats and a range of support services for young people affected by Cystic Fibrosis and their families across the region.

Since The Leanne Fund was founded it has continued to expand and develop the range of services and experiences offered in response to the needs of Cystic Fibrosis patients and their families.

The Leanne Fund relies entirely on fundraising, sponsors and charitable donations to fund their valuable work.