Forest of Hope

One Enchanted Evening

L to R: Stacey Harris, Lisa King, Maggie Parsons, Debbie King.
Photo: Stacey Harris
Pretty Prosecco Lady – YES PLEASE!
Top L: Kimberly & Maggie (Colleen’s niece) Top R: Paying tribute to Colleen Kohse on the big screen. Colleen was the longest living heart/double lung transplant recipient in Canada. In fact it was pointed out to me that she narrowly missed making it into the Guinness Book of World Records for being the longest survivor. Nonetheless she was a trailblazer and tireless volunteer in support to patients and families living with CF.  Bottom middle : Larry Kohse (Colleen’s brother) with Debbie King. Bottom L + R:  a pretty forest nymph and greeter with photos and names of young people living with CF.  Photos: Stacey Harris.

It was a bittersweet event at Vancouver’s Fairmont Waterfront Hotel last Saturday for the annual 65 Roses Gala to benefit cystic fibrosis (CF) because of the absence of my BFF Colleen Kohse.  As The Globe & Mail wrote for some, Colleen’s very existence was hope itself. 

CBC TV and radio journalist Gloria Macarenko was the host of this annual fundraiser along with Jeremie Saunders of the Sickboy podcast. Jeremie if you don’t already know, lives with CF.

Gloria mentioned something eerie but special to me at the start of the evening.  She said last April she opened up her phone and the first thing that popped up on her screen without her searching for it, was a photo of her and Colleen from last year’s gala.  Then very shortly after that, a phone call explaining that Colleen had passed away that day.  It does make one wonder.

The evening began with a delicious signature lavender-infused gin + rosemary cocktail, prosecco and full bar.  In otherwords; no lack of alcohol.

Beautiful songstress Amanda Wood started off the evening with a gorgeous rendition of “This is Me” from The Greatest Showman along with help (not that she needed it) from a choir.

We ate a delicious multi course dinner with wine pairings and were able to peruse the silent auction items online as well as outside the ballroom.  Our photographer Charles doubled as the auctioneer for live auction items and did a fantastic job – multi-talented is he.  Entertainment followed which had pretty much everyone on the dance floor for late night dancing.

The 18th annual 65 Roses gala was proudly presented by B2Gold Corp. The evening was of course dedicated to finding a cure for cystic fibrosis, Canada’s most common inherited fatal disease.

Since its founding in 2001, the 65 Roses Gala has raised more than $4 million for CF research and patient advocacy.

We hope to continue to do more so that CF can finally stand for “Cure Found.”

 

To find out more and/or make a donation please visit:

https://www.cysticfibrosis.ca/

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Health MATTERS – raising awareness: Key to a Cure for CF

That’s Cystic Fibrosis, commonly known as CF. Last Saturday I attended an event in support of Cystic Fibrosis Canada.  It was the 14th Annual 65 Roses Gala held at the Pan Pacific Hotel.  The theme was Oh, what-a-night and it was! cf1

Sisters
Sisters

An all-around great evening met with reception champagne cocktail or pomegranate martini while busy perusing all the silent auction items, then delicious 3 course dinner with free flowing wine (supplied by Okanagan Crush Pad), live auction bidding and finally dancing to the excellent live band – SideOne.

But there was more to this evening.  The intention was to raise awareness for a life threatening disease affecting children and adults to which there is no cure. Also I have a personal connection as a good friend of mine has CF. So I just wanted to let you know about it because it is not so prevalent as Cancer – something we’re all too familiar with.  It is a terrible and fatal genetic disease.

People with CF spend the equivalent of four months of full time work every year on life-sustaining therapies.  Despite this intensive work to stay well, less than half are expected to reach middle age.  I’m happy to report that my friend has reached middle age, looks good and is doing well.

Cystic fibrosis causes various effects on the body, but mainly affects the digestive system and lungs. The degree of cystic fibrosis involvement differs from person to person. However, the persistence and ongoing infection in the lungs, with destruction of lungs and loss of lung function, eventually causes death in the majority of people who have cystic fibrosis.

Typical complications are difficulty in digesting fats and proteins; vitamin deficiencies due to loss of pancreatic enzymes; and progressive loss of lung function.

Since the first 65 Roses Gala in 2001, the Gala has raised over $2.5 million to fund research and clinical care here in B.C. and across Canada.  CF Canada supports the transplant center at Vancouver General Hospital, one of only five centers in Canada.  A double lung transplant is “THE ONLY OPTION” (can you imagine?) for many people with end stage CF.  It is not a cure; it buys time and it is not available to all.  Can you even imagine?  They can always use more support in their desire to find a cure.cf3

CAUSES OF CYSTIC FIBROSIS

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that occurs when a child inherits two abnormal genes, one from each parent. Approximately, one in 25 Canadians carry an abnormal version of the gene responsible for cystic fibrosis. Carriers do not have cystic fibrosis, nor do they exhibit any of the symptoms of the disease.

When two parents who are carriers have a child, there is a 25 percent chance that the child will be born with cystic fibrosis; there is also a 50 percent chance that the child will be a carrier; and a 25 percent chance that the child will neither be a carrier nor have cystic fibrosis.

SYMPTOMS OF CYSTIC FIBROSIS

Cystic fibrosis is a multi-system disorder that produces a variety of symptoms including:

  • Persistent cough with productive thick mucous
  • Wheezing and shortness of breath
  • Frequent chest infections, which may include pneumonia
  • Bowel disturbances, such as intestinal obstruction
  • Weight loss or failure to gain weight despite possible increased appetite
  • Salty tasting sweat
  • Infertility (men) and decreased fertility (women)

To learn more or to make a donation please visit: http://www.cysticfibrosis.ca/