'I'd do anything for my girl, including facing my biggest fear'

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My cousin, Graeme, isn’t a hero. He’s a regular guy with a wicked sense of humour who wants to look after his family. How he and his wife have responded to the diagnosis that their little daughter has cystic fibrosis reminds me that he, just like many other individuals dealing with chronic illness in the family, is an (extra)ordinary hero.

More on cystic fibrosis:

5 things you should know about cystic fibrosis

What is cystic fibrosis?

Getting down to awareness

On the 12th of April, he’s going to be abseiling down a massive structure called the Arcellormittal Tower, the UK’s tallest sculpture, to raise funds and awareness for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. The CFT supports patients and their families. The thing is, though, Graeme is absolutely terrified of heights and, with 114 metres of abseiling facing him, this is a massive challenge. Despite this, he's going ahead- the bigger challenge for him is ensuring the best possible circumstances for his lovely, active daughter and others with CF.

Special circumstances produce special parents

Like many parents of children with chronic diseases or illnesses, he has confronted the painful realities head on. As well as getting to know how to manage the symptoms and adapt their lifestyle, he has participated in awareness campaigns, such as fun runs and online strategies. Parents of kids with illnesses often do more than simply hold their kid’s hands in hospital- they become immersed in the battle to make others aware of the conditions (and the efforts to find better treatments or a cure).

Parents of kids with chronic illnesses or diseases often find it difficult to cover the costs of treatment or care and have to resort to creative means of fundraising.

There’s a local Cystic Fibrosis Trust in SA, and they’re doing great work at raising awareness as they promote the treatment, health and well-being of patients and their families.

Out of sight, many parents are coping with children with different kinds of cancers, diseases, disabilities and other challenges.

Graeme isn’t a hero, he’s just a dad like any of us, but he’ll do anything, including facing down his fears, to look after his little ones.

Parent24 salutes all of you who have these kinds of private, daily battles with special kids in special circumstances and tackle them with dignity and strength.

Do you know anyone who is dealing with chronic illness within the family? What about their situation inspires you?
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