Kennedy Cathcart

Kennedy Cathcart

Nanaimo families raise money for disease research

NANAIMO – Cystic Fibrosis Canada's Nanaimo branch will be holding a fundraising dinner event at Beban Park Auditorium on Nov. 9.

A fundraiser for cystic fibrosis will benefit Nanaimo families like the Cathcarts, who have a child with the fatal genetic disease which affects the lungs and digestive system.

One-year-old Kennedy Cathcart was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis shortly after birth. Krystal Cathcart, Kennedy’s mother, said her daughter has daily challenges with medication and numerous therapies.

“We do percussions and vibrations on her chest and back to help keep the mucus that builds up in the lungs clear and she has to have [digestive] enzymes with all her meals,” Krystal said, adding that it makes it difficult to eat on a whim.

Kennedy must also take large doses of vitamins, have a high salt and fat diet. Krystal said it might seem strange for people unaware of their situation to see her baby eating french fries.

Nevertheless, Kennedy is doing well and has had only one other hospitalization so far.

“She is so happy and you’d never know,” Krystal said. “People that meet her that don’t know, when we tell them are shocked because she looks so healthy and she’s so positive and you’d never know she spends such a good majority of her day doing therapies and taking medicine,” Krystal said.

She said that there is a good support system for families dealing with cystic fibrosis and Cystic Fibrosis Canada makes a difference in her family’s life.

Cystic Fibrosis Canada’s Nanaimo branch will be holding a fundraising dinner event at Beban Park Auditorium on Nov. 9.

Debra Tuck, president of the Nanaimo chapter, said attendees have a chance to bid on a number of items in live and silent auctions, including tickets to a Vancouver Canucks game.

“The prizes are just a wide variety, anything from kitchen gadgets, to artwork, to baskets that we put together with all sorts of themes, kids’ baskets … just a whole variety of all different interests,” Tuck said.

Tickets for adults cost $45; $30/youth (ages five to 16 years); and children five and under get in for free.

Tickets can be reserved by calling Tuck at 250-753-1597 and can also be purchased at  J.T. Flair Hair Design at Country Club Centre.