Light shines on cystic fibrosis campaign
Landmarks across Sunderland and South Tyneside are to glow in support of a campaign to spread the word about cystic fibrosis and a campaign for better treatment.
Sunderland City Council has confirmed it will be supporting the appeal by turning the lighting of the Northern Spire Bridge, Keel Square, High Street West, Fulwell Mill, the lighthouse in Cliffe Park and at Penshaw Monument, in conjunction with the National Trust, yellow from Sunday night until Tuesday evening.
In South Tyneside, the council has agreed to light up South Shields Town Hall to show its support.
Sunderland City Council has also confirmed it plans to do the same on Friday, June 21, in support of both Cystic Fibrosis Wear Yellow Day and in honour of St Benedict’s Hospice.
The call to back the Cystic Fibrosis appeal has been supported by Father Marc Lyden-Smith, who is good friends with Emma and Chris Corr, from Jarrow.
Their daughter Harriet, four, has the genetic disorder, which affects the lungs as well as the pancreas, liver, kidneys, and intestine.
Fr Marc, who is from Jarrow and is based at St Mary’s RC Church in Bridge Street, Sunderland, is supporting their call for the drug Orkambi to be prescribed on the NHS.
The priest, who baptised Harriet and her sister Nancy, seven, said he was worried the Conservative leadership campaign will be a distraction to the Government, which is due to debate the issue on Monday.
On Sunday, he joined the family to tie yellow ribbons on the Wearmouth Bridge to raise awareness.
He said: “We need to keep pushing on with the debate and to raise awareness of cystic fibrosis.
“There might be a leadership contest on, but they do still have a job to get done here.
“This debate is so important because it could help save lives in the long run.
“The cost may be £100,000 to the NHS, but often these children are in hospital so often with illnesses, it will surely save money in the long run because they won’t be going in and out of hospital and it will stop them from being unwell.
“There will be buildings lit up nationally, but local landmarks will help us raise awareness of CF here.”
Emma, 38, and Chris, 37, plan to be in Parliament for the debate.
Emma said: “What is happening is a scandal really, because we can’t access this drug when it is already available in 13 other countries.
“The fact it isn’t licensed in this country and that they can’t sort it out is unbelievable.
“I feel like we’ve been at this same point for three years and I can’t see when this is going to end, but if we can get the support of Parliament, that could move things forward.
“We want to make as many people aware of this as possible.”
More information about the campaign can be found via the page www.facebook.com/65rosesforlifesavingdrugs/