In November 2007, Nancy and Patrick Borg were celebrating the arrival of their beautiful little girl, Isabella. When their daughter was just four weeks old, the Borgs were told Isabella had cystic fibrosis, a condition the family was unfamiliar with.
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a life-limiting genetic condition that affects 1 in 2,500 babies in Australia. CF causes the body to create thick and sticky mucus that clogs the lungs, airways and digestive system. There is currently no cure.
Nancy and Patrick were initially shocked by the diagnosis and scared for what it meant for their little girl but since the beginning, Isabella and her family have been supported through her journey during check-ups in the CF clinic at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead (CHW). The Hospital's CF clinic provides a multidisciplinary team including physicians, clinical nurse consultants, dieticians, physiotherapists and social workers. For Isabella, managing CF involves daily medication and physiotherapy to keep her lungs and airways healthy.
“Over the years, the support we receive from the staff at the CF clinic has been great. They are fantastic, professional, caring and we have made many friends from CHW and Cystic Fibrosis Community Care (CCFC),” said Patrick.
Living with CF hasn’t stopped Isabella, now 12 years old, from experiencing life to the fullest. Known for her adventurous and funny personality, she enjoys keeping an active lifestyle by playing netball and soccer, as well as dancing. She also became school captain and hopes to be a teacher when she grows up.
Since her diagnosis, the family have become more aware of CF and Isabella is the 2020 ambassador for 65k 4 65 Roses walkathon. The Borgs will join others on 22 February 2020 to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis clinic at CHW and CCFC in the hope to find a future cure.
“The walk is definitely a challenge. Doing 65km is a mental battle but the relief when finished is fantastic! It’s nothing compared to what CF sufferers go through every day, so why not walk for one, two or nine laps and push yourself for a great cause. You don’t have to walk we always need volunteers to assist on the day,” said Patrick.
This will be the 13th year the Borgs will participate in Sydney’s longest walkathon, held at The Bay Run.