Advocates and fundraisers for Cystic Fibrosis continue to develop creative, unique ways to increase awareness of the disease throughout the world and support ongoing clinical research for effective, new therapeutic strategies. Recently, the Cystic Fibrosis Association of New Zealand (CFNZ) joined forces with Ballentynes Fashion Central to organize a fundraising fashion show to help support patients suffering from cystic fibrosis in the region of Wanganui, New Zealand. The initiative was part of Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Week, organized by the association between October 13 and 19 to call attention to the rare disease.
The fashion show event was held on Wednesday, October 15 by the Wanganui local branch of the CFNZ, Central Districts, and included the participation of six volunteer models, including the local councillor and a Ballentynes staff member, who showcased some current summer fashion trends in the southern hemisphere. According to CFNZ, the audience was comprised of a small but enthusiastic group of women. The event included spot prizes, an Avon raffle, and supper to follow — as well as shopping.
This is the fourth year that Ballentynes Wanganui has collaborated with the Central Districts CF branch, resulting in funding that will be used to support the members of the local branch, which will include covering expenses of twice-daily physiotherapy, night feeds through a tube, visits to specialists, and multiple hospitalizations. Being a rare and genetic disease for which there is no cure, CF affects about 500 people in New Zealand. However, it is the most common life-threatening disease that affects children, who inherit the disease when both parents carry the same rare gene mutation.
The CFNZ chooses a child with CF every year to appear in their fundraising campaign for Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Week . This year’s “poster child” is Grace Patterson, a seven-year-old patient from Stratford, New Zealand. In addition to the Ballentynes Fashion Show, the association also organized bucket collections in several places, school mufti days, their annual Sileni wine sale, and a sausage sizzle. The week is meant to overcome the need for funds, as the CFNZ budget is comprised of less than 5% of governmental funding.