25/05/2017 - 14:59

Support blooms for Cystic Fibrosis

25/05/2017 - 14:59

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Hundreds of volunteers and businesses across the state have joined forces to sell more than 13,000 long-stemmed roses in support of children and young adults living with Cystic Fibrosis.

Support blooms for Cystic Fibrosis
CFWA Nigel Barker (left) with Telstra's Jeff Harding at the rose packing station this morning Photos: Attila Csaszar

Hundreds of volunteers and businesses across the state have joined forces to sell more than 13,000 long-stemmed roses in support of children and young adults living with Cystic Fibrosis.

Roses will bloom tomorrow at Murray Street Mall, Subiaco Train Station and at more than 20 suburban shopping centres, including Westfield Innaloo and Belmont Forum, as well as regional areas such as Broome and Bunbury as part of the national fundraising initiative – the annual 65 Roses Campaign.

Proceeds raised in Western Australia will go towards Cystic Fibrosis WA’s (CFWA) funding of local world-class research into the genetic disease that affects nearly 4,000 Australians and still has no cure.

Fresh roses have been supplied by donation from Australian flower exporter WAFEX, with employees from the WA branches of Telstra and Commonwealth Bank of Australia backing the campaign with volunteer power.

About 50 Telstra employees helped wrap roses this morning, and Telstra Business WA general manager Jeff Harding said more than 16 Telstra vehicles branded with Cystic Fibrosis banners would help distribute the roses across the state.

Mr Harding said roses would also be sold through Telstra’s licensed shops and business centres.

“Of all the charities around this is one we really need to get off the ground and get people to understand and be aware of,” he said.

Mr Harding said Telstra had gradually become more involved with the charity since CFWA won the Telstra Small Business Awards charity category last year.

“A lot of these charities run with small staff numbers, and for Cystic Fibrosis to put on an event like this, they need volunteers,” he said.

“Without corporate company support, a lot of charities wouldn’t survive.

“It’s something we need to do not just as employees, but as individuals to add more to the community.”

The name 65 Roses dates back to 1965, when it is said a child, upon hearing the name of his disease for the first time, pronounced Cystic Fibrosis as ‘65 Roses’. A rose is now the international symbol for the disease.

CFWA chief executive Nigel Barker said more than 1 million Australian adults unknowingly carried the recessive gene that causes Cystic Fibrosis.

“If two of those people get together and have a baby then there will be a one in four chance that the baby will be born with a double recessive gene and have Cystic Fibrosis,” he said.

“Couples wanting to start a family can be screened for Cystic Fibrosis easily, but over half of all babies are unplanned.

“It’s a disease which is robbing our children of their futures, drowning their lungs in mucus; but in May we’re fighting back and we’re winning.”

Roses will be sold on Friday at $5 per stem, or $50 for 12. 

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