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Cystic Fibrosis sufferer hopeful about new life-changing meds

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After a campaign lasting more than three years, the first batches of potentially life-changing Cystic Fibrosis medicines have arrived in Guernsey.

Courtney Read hopes her new treatment, Symkevi, will lead to a better quality of life. (26983510)

Cystic Fibrosis is a hereditary disease that causes the body to produce a thick mucus that can cause respiratory complications as well as obstruct the pancreas.

The new treatments could add decades to the life expectancy of sufferers.

Courtney Read, 23, received her new medicine, the targeted precision medicine Symkevi, in the post on Thursday.

Unlike other treatments that just target symptoms, Symkevi targets the genetic mutation that causes the disease and can increase lung function in CF sufferers.

Miss Read said she was apprehensive about the new medicine because, due to its gene-specific nature, there is only a 50% chance it will work.

There’s also a chance it could produce unwanted side-effects.

However, she was hopeful it could improve her quality of life.

‘I’ve not got my hopes up, but I just hope it will allow a longer period of time without having to go to hospital.

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‘I’m in hospital every month and I want to be able to plan the future, like someone my age would usually do’

Miss Read, who takes after her grandfather, the eight-times world motorcycling champion Phil Read, said she hoped the treatments would make it easier to enjoy her hobby of racing at track days.

‘CF means it takes a lot to be out in the cold working on my cars, because I’m often physically and mentally drained.’

Her father, Mike Read, chairman of Cystic Fibrosis Guernsey, said the drugs could provide a brighter future for Courtney and other CF sufferers.

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‘We’ve got new hope for her.’

‘It’ll bring about a fundamental change for how those with Cystic Fibrosis will see the future.’

He believed the drugs could enable people with CF to work, contribute to society and support their own family, rather than feeling like they rely on the system for support.

Miss Read, who has campaigned for treatment with CF Guernsey, was full of praise for her father.

‘I couldn’t be more grateful for the hard work that my dad has put in. I couldn’t be more proud.’

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