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65 Roses Day aims to make hope bloom

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
Bunbury’s Amelia, 8, and Corey Walker, 10, are described by their mother Beck Walker as “another set of parents” to four-month-old Joshua Williams who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at five weeks.
Camera IconBunbury’s Amelia, 8, and Corey Walker, 10, are described by their mother Beck Walker as “another set of parents” to four-month-old Joshua Williams who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at five weeks. Credit: Kate Fielding / South Western Times

At just four months old, Bunbury’s Joshua Williams is a picture of perfect health as he watches his mother with doting eyes and giggles away to distract from the fact that he should be asleep.

But his family knows he has a lifetime of hurdles ahead of him, full of daily physiotherapy sessions and medications.

Joshua was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at five weeks old and while mother Beck Walker says the diagnosis was “completely shocking”, the family is also hopeful and confident he will still have a beautiful life.

“It was devastating to think that our perfect little baby wasn’t perfect like we thought, however we’ve learnt to realise that CF comes after Josh and Josh just goes along with it,” Mrs Walker said.

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May is national cystic fibrosis awareness month and Mrs Walker is embracing the campaign, saying awareness around the condition is “huge”.

“To have people know what it is, so when we say CF, they go ‘OK, I know a little bit about that’ and so people know daily what it’s like and it’s not a depressing thing, it’s just to get word out there,” she said.

“The more awareness, the more help we get and hopefully the more funding and more clever people we can get to do good things for us.”

On May 24, it is hoped the State will be painted red with roses for 65 Roses Day with the flower becoming the international symbol for the condition.

In the meantime, Mrs Walker takes some comfort in the treatment available and easier access to medication which has come a long way only in the past 12 months.

Joshua and his brother, Corey, 10, and eight-year-old sister, Amelia, will feature in a special video being launched at the Capel Vale Conquer Cystic Fibrosis Grand Ball in Perth on May 18.

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