Coffee fund-raiser to help sufferers

Every day Luke Emery, of Hadspen, has to take medication through a nebulizer and every time he eats he has to take more medication in capsules.

It is a daily process the seven-year-old is used to after being diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when he was just six months old.

But a new Banjos Bakery and Cystic Fibrosis Tasmania initiative, which will see 50 from every large coffee sold donated to Cystic Fibrosis Tasmania this month,  will help make Luke and his family's life a little easier.

Luke's parents, Donna and Dean, didn't know anyone with cystic fibrosis before their son was diagnosed after a simple heal prick.

Later they discovered they were two out of one million Australians who are symptomless carriers of the genetic disorder, which affects every organ except the brain and commonly clogs the lungs with thick, sticky mucus making it difficult to breathe.

''We were absolutely gutted,'' Mrs Emery said of the diagnosis.

''You've got a beautiful first baby and the last thing you want to be doing is finding out about the disease.

''He has got a shorter life expectancy than normal (most people with cystic fibrosis don't live past 30) and he will most likely need a lung transplant.''

Every winter for the past three years, Luke has also had an infection called pseudomonas.

''It'll start like a cold and he'll have a bad cough but it's the type of bug that if it gets into his lungs too deep it won't ever come out and it will constantly affect him,'' Mrs Emery said.

Luckily, Luke has fought the infection each time following two-week stays in the Launceston General Hospital.

But as winter has hit, Mrs and Mr Emery and getting nervous, especially since Luke has recently developed a needle phobia.

It is the support of Cystic Fibrosis and other organisations that has helped the family get through the tough times.

Mrs Emery said she felt touched that Banjos was running the May initiative.

''You know that feeling you get when someone says something really lovely to you,'' she said.

''That's what we get, because when someone supports cystic fibrosis they're supporting us and it's wonderful.

''I will forever come to Banjos now because this support is invaluable and it's not just about the money, it's about raising the awareness.''

All 28 Tasmanian Banjos stores are participating in the promotion.

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