Mandurah Bridge to shine red to raise awareness of cystic fibrosis

Photo: Supplied.
Photo: Supplied.

The Mandurah Bridge will shine a light on cystic fibrosis (CF) when it turns red on May 22 for 65 Roses Day.

Every year, May marks national cystic fibrosis awareness month with a special 65 Roses Day to raise funds for the 400 people in WA living with CF - around half of which are children.

Since 2009, Cystic Fibrosis Western Australia (CFWA) has sold over 69,000 roses to raise money to find a cure and provide vital research and support services.

This year, with the outbreak of coronavirus, the campaign will be going online to sell digital roses instead to keep their largest annual fundraisergoing for what could be their most important year yet.

People with CF have had to be particularly careful to isolate during the COVID-19 pandemic with increased infection risks and lack of research on the impact of the virus.

With all our efforts, we put Mandurah on the map as one of the largest CF fundraising communities in WA.

Mandurah event organiser Haydee Carman

Haydee Carman organises the 65 Roses Day fundraiser in Mandurah every year and encouraged locals to take part online.

"In previous years this fundraiser has grown with the help of many local businesses jumping on board and selling roses at their business fronts," she said.

"Unfortunately, due to this year's situation with the Coronavirus pandemic, we are unable to prepare and sell physical roses."

Ms Carman said the cause was particularly close to her heart.

"I have two friends who have children in Mandurah with Cystic Fibrosis," she said.

"In previous years we simply called ourselves 'Team Mandurah' and with all our efforts, we put Mandurah on the map as one of the largest CF fundraising communities in WA.

"This year we have decided to take a more personal approach and name our Team 'Roses for Maddi and Toby' dedicated to the children, who are our inspiration."

CF is the most common rare disease in Australia, primarily affecting the lungs where it causes a buildup of thick mucus and can become infected, sometimes requiring a lung transplant.

CFWA chief executive Nigel Barker said that while it wasn't business as usual this year, people could still make a real difference to help those living with CF.

"People living with CF struggle with respiratory challenges every day, so we need West Australians' help to make sure our biggest annual fundraiser remains a success," he said.

"The whole world is feeling the impact of COVID-19 and many people have taken a financial hit.

"We head into our new digital 65 Roses Day fully aware that people may be unable to support us financially with a donation.

We only ask that if you can help, you do and if you can't, then please spread the word to those that can.

CFWA chief executive Nigel Barker

"We only ask that if you can help, you do and if you can't, then please spread the word to those that can.

"There is currently no cure for CF. Help us to achieve our vision of lives unaffected by CF."

The Mandurah Foreshore Bridge will shine red on 65 Roses Day this Friday, May 22, from sunset to sunrise.

To send or buy a rose from the virtual rose garden, visit https://www.rosegarden.org.au/ or, for more information about Cystic Fibrosis, visit https://www.cfwa.org.au/cystic-fibrosis/about/.