A CAMPAIGN has been launched to raise £50,000 to help transform the life of a woman seriously ill with cystic fibrosis.
Blaire Webb, 27, was diagnosed with the condition at 18 months.
At the time of diagnosis life expectancy for sufferers was the late teens, but this has increased. But at 27, Miss Webb is hoping to undergo pioneering stem cell treatment after discovering her mother Kerry Webb is a suitable match.
Now Miss Webb, of Hillsborough, Sheffield, is hoping to raise £50,000 to pay for the treatment in the Dominican Republic because the treatment is not available in the UK.
“It would mean so much to me,” said Miss Webb. “It will hopefully improve my lung function and allow me to lead a fuller life where I can do more things such as take my dogs on long walks and be able to work full time.”
Her close friends including Kate Yeardley, who she met at infant school, have launched a fundraising web page on the GoFundMe site which has already raised £6,575.
Miss Webb had a liver transplant at 11 and was hopeful of having a lung transplant but that was not possible. Her lungs currently operate at an average of 20 per cent of healthy lungs but the stem cell treatment may raise that to 30 per cent.
Miss Yeardley said: “It would mean so much to Blaire and to all her family and friends if we were to raise enough money for this treatment.”
The decision to refuse Blaire a lung transplant in 2013 was a huge blow as there is currently no other suitable treatment in the UK.
After lots of research and hard work Blaire found out about a potentially life changing stem cell treatment.
Miss Yeardley said, “This is Blaire’s only option now to improve her lifestyle and extend her life and so we have the challenge of raising £50,000 to pay for the treatment. Due to Blaire’s rapidly declining health we have a limited window to get the treatment and are working to raise the money by the end of March.”
Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disorder that causes the over-production of abnormally thick mucus, causing respiratory infections and various other complications.
Miss Webb says her two Pugs, Wilbur and Winnie, are sometimes the only reason she has for getting up in the morning.
Over the years she has had a continual stream of medical issues to contend with. In 1999 cystic fibrosis caused her liver to fail and she underwent a transplant at the age of 11. This life-saving operation then brought on another complication in the form of diabetes and then in 2011 her kidneys went into renal failure and she was admitted into intensive care and placed on dialysis.
Miss Yeardley said: “Blaire has worked tirelessly to retain her independence and a ‘normal’ lifestyle. Asking for help is a massive step for her to take. It means openly acknowledging her cystic fibrosis and allowing people to see her as different, and different she is, not because of the cystic fibrosis but because of her incredible outlook on life.”
“Your support and donations towards this ground-breaking treatment for Blaire are greatly appreciated. Any donations, however big or small, will take us one step closer to giving Blaire the quality of life she has hoped for, for so long.”
Cystic Fibrosis sufferer Roisin Kelleher, from Faversham, Kent, was the first UK citizen to receive the treatment in the Dominican Republic and her lung function has improved significantly.
Kelsea Little, spokeswoman for GoFundMe.com, said: “Our thoughts are with Blaire and her family and friends at this time.
“It is incredibly touching to see how many people have already come together to offer support for her GoFundMe campaign and we wish her all the very best moving forward.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up for Blaire at https://www.gofundme.com/WhileIbreatheIhope.