IT MAY not be as high-profile as cancer and diabetes but the fact there is a dedicated clinic for cystic fibrosis highlights the serious nature and frequency of the disease.
About 160 young people are treated at the cystic fibrosis clinic at Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick, each year.
The clinic — which benefited from the funds raised at last year's Macarthur CF swimathon — provides specific care for cystic fibrosis sufferers.
Cystic fibrosis is a genetically acquired, life-threatening disease which primarily affects the lungs and digestive system, which are responsible for the production of saliva, sweat, tears and mucus.
One in 2500 babies are born with the disease and one in 25 people carry the gene.
Head of the Respiratory Department at Sydney Children's Hospital, John Widger, said the clinic played a vital role in the treatment of sufferers.
"We generally see the children until they are 18 at the clinic every three months," he said.
"The treatment for CF can be quite onerous, involving frequent antibiotics, medications to help break up the mucus in the chest, medications to help with digestion, special diets and daily physio.
"Nurses, doctors, physiotherapists and dieticians are all involved."
Patients are given medication at the clinic to break-up the mucus in their chests — one of the main problems with the disease — and undergo several tests.
Dr Widger said the clinic played a vital role in helping to manage the disease. "The main reason for the success — and the increase in survival rate — is because they have been treated by a centralised clinic like us."
Those involved with the clinic recently moved into a new laboratory which provides more space to be able to treat patients, reducing the risk of cross-infection.
Funds raised last year went towards equipment to measure the exercise capacity of patients.
Dr Widger said money raised from this year's 2014 DA Global CF Swim Macarthur would go towards research.
LAUNCH, FEBRUARY 6
■ General admission to the launch dinner at Camden Valley Inn is $25 a person or $60 for families and includes barbecue buffet in the garden, beer, wine and soft drink.
■ There will be entertainment and a diamond draw. Tickets for the Hennings Diamond Draw are $50 and are available on the night.
SWIM, FEBRUARY 15
■ At Wollondilly Leisure Centre, Picton. Official start at 9am but early swimmers welcome from 7.30am.
■ To register create an account on the Everyday Hero website: everydayhero.com.au. Join a team, create your own team or join as an individual.
To donate go to www.everydayhero.com.au/event/cfswimmacarthur.
The 2014 DA Global CF Swim Macarthur is sponsored by DA Global, Hennings Jewellers, Camden Valley Inn, FDC Construction, Tahmoor Coal Glencore, the Advertiser, Denham Constructions Pty Ltd, Wests Leagues Club, Tahmoor Medical Centre, Illawarra Coal