Shining a light on New Zealanders living with cystic fibrosis, the recently launched virtual campaign ‘Sweatember’ is encouraging Kiwis to engage in physical activity and raise money for the organisation throughout the month of September.
Cystic fibrosis is a progressive, genetic condition that causes lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time. It is the most common life-threatening genetic condition affecting New Zealand children.
There is no cure to cystic fibrosis and life expectancy is less than half of that of the average New Zealander. Unfortunately, life-saving medications such as Trikafta are still not funded in this country, which is why Sweatember and the Sweat4FC initiatives have been created.
Laura Huet, fundraising and marketing manager of Cystic Fibrosis NZ, says alike to many charities, they have had to rely on funds raised through the annual street appeal to deliver support services.
‘The Coronavirus emergency and physical distancing requirements certainly threw us a curveball. We had to think on our feet, consider how to capture the spirit of in-person fundraising, and somehow package it up virtually.
“The Sweatember campaign was our answer to that, and I am thrilled to see the virtual challenge bring New Zealanders from across the country together in support of Kiwis with CF, in what is still a difficult time for us all.”
Proceeds collected from the campaign will go towards better access to care and medications, information, counselling, transplant, and hospital support, along with fund research.
Challenging Kiwis to sweat is fitting, as physical activity is one of the best ways someone living with CF can mange their condition. Being active helps clear the lungs of the thick and sticky mucus that tends to build up and also helps minimise the chance of chest infections.
Without even being in September yet, 242 people have already signed up to the challenge and $39,511 has been raised. The goal for the campaign is to raise $150,000.
To sign up and get sweating, or to donate, visit sweatember.org.nz