"How people are acting now is how people with CF live every single day." 6 months ago

"How people are acting now is how people with CF live every single day."

"This is nothing new to us."

Meet Gary Bailey, the 32-year-old sales manager who, at three-months-old, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. Gary is an ambassador for Cystic Fibrosis Ireland, who recently had to cancel their annual collections fundraiser, 65 Roses.

Before the current Covid-19 crisis, Gary and others who suffer with cystic fibrosis practiced good hygiene, coughing etiquette, and social distancing on a regular basis.

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that affects the internal organs, especially the lungs and digestive system, resulting in the organs being clogged with a thick, sticky mucus. For people like Gary, self isolation and social distancing are more important than ever during the Covid-19 crisis.

"Self isolation is always quite important in terms of CF. Not just during a pandemic with coronavirus but cross infection of any kind is dangerous to CF.

"Self isolation and being very conscious of your surroundings and hygiene is something I've lived with myself, I assume everyone else with CF is, but now it just kind of escalates a little bit more.

"How people are acting now is how people with CF live every single day. This is nothing new to us. It's just stepped up a notch," he continues.

"Now people really, really realise the importance of hygiene and coughing etiquette and just the complications that can happen for somebody with CF. If somebody gets a chest infection, it could really severely hamper somebody else that you don't know about."

Due to the current social restrictions across the country, Cystic Fibrosis Ireland were forced to cancel collections for their annual fundraiser, 65 Roses, and are urging people to donate online.

As a fitness and sport enthusiast, Gary has decided to continue his commitment to the cause. To raise money and awareness for Cystic Fibrosis Ireland,  he will be training for 65 minutes each day, 65 days in a row.

"My body is sore, everything is sore. Up until about three weeks I'd been training every single day for 65 minutes, whether that be gym, whether it be football, whether it be climbing a hill...

"Obviously that's been kind of hindered now we've Covid-19 so I just tailor my training, go for runs at night time and things like that."

For Gary, his passion for sport and fitness is more than just a hobby. He hopes to raise awareness for not only cystic fibrosis, but for younger sufferers with the disease looking for hope and life beyond their condition.

"I want to show the younger people living with CF, that having a normal life is very much achievable, adhering to my daily medical treatments and routines.

"I consider myself very fortunate to be in a position to exercise as I do, as there are many factors and variables to living with CF.

"I have not been in hospital in ten years and this is down to daily treatment routines and a relentless commitment to exercise. I now live a very normal life, living with CF.

"I have two beautiful kids and am due to get married in September to my wonderful supportive fiancé."

You can support Cystic Fibrosis Ireland on 65 Roses Day, Friday 10th April, by donating online at 65RosesDay.ie.