Despite CF I live a full life

DAVID Spillane has never let his cystic fibrosis (CF) affect his life. “Even as a teenager, I was running with my local team and playing football with my local club,” says David, 23, an artist living in Tralee, Co Kerry.

“My sister, Aishling, has CF as well, but we’re both fairly lucky because we have lighter strains of it.”

According to the Cystic Fibrosis Association of Ireland (CFAI), CF is Ireland’s most common life-threatening inherited disease. CF mainly affects the lungs and the digestive system. It causes a thick, sticky mucus to be produced, blocking the bronchial tubes and making patients prone to repeated infections, which can result in hospitalisation. Ireland has the highest prevalence of CF in the world.

“I have to use a nebuliser and do physiotherapy for a half hour every morning and evening, but it’s second nature to me as I’ve been doing it so long,” said David, who is speaking to highlight the CF National Awareness Week, which will run from today, until Apr 20.

Dubbed ‘65 Roses’ awareness week, members of the public will be encouraged to purchase a pin for €2 or trolley coin for €3 to support the CFAI in its ongoing fight for adequate national and local facilities for people with CF.

‘65 Roses’ is the way that many children first learn how to say ‘cystic fibrosis’ and funds from last year’s ‘65 Roses’ are helping to provide better support and information to parents whose baby has been diagnosed with CF. The money is also helping build new CF units in Limerick, Drogheda and Castlebar hospitals.

“I’ve been really lucky. I know a lot of other people with CF who are in hospital quite a lot and who have IV injections a lot,” says David, whose artistic ambitions took off when a painting he posted on Facebook attracted lots of positive commentary. (Click on Dave Spillane’s art page on Facebook.)

“I’ve only been in hospital twice, once when I was eight and two years ago. I took up painting a year ago, after I’d gone through a music phase from when I was 15. I paint abstract pictures and I hope to have an exhibition in Dublin in the next few months,” David says.

. For further information on ‘65 Roses’ week or CF, visit

Migraine needn’t be a headache at work

The Migraine Association of Ireland will hold Ireland’s first national conference on ‘migraine at work’ on Thursday, Apr 19 from 10am to 3pm at the Ashling Hotel, Dublin.

The day is for employees with migraine, HR professionals, trade union officials, occupational health staff and anyone else who suffers from migraine or headache.

The conference will advise attendees on how to recognise migraine, create a workplace that accommodates sufferers, reduce the impact of migraine on the business and become acquainted with relevant legislation.

The cost is €20 per delegate — but employ-ees are free when attending with human resources/management/occupational health staff. MAI members can also attend at no cost. Bookings and payment in advance.

Four in 10 amateurs injured playing golf

It’s estimated that four in 10 amateur golfers are injured playing the sport. The back is the most common injury, followed by elbows, shoulders, wrists, knees or hips.

“Amateur golfers get injured because of infrequent play, lack of fitness leading to body fatigue by the end of a long walk over an 18-hole golf course, and poor swing control due to a lack of coaching, stiffness, muscle weakness and poor balance,” says Peter Best, osteopath at Touchstone Osteopathy in Blackrock Hall primary care centre, Black-rock, Cork. “The most important thing you can do to prevent back injury is to warm up before playing a round of golf and warm down after. Each warm up should take at least 10 minutes.

Did you know...

Heavy men are more likely than normal-weight peers to have low sperm counts or no sperm production at all

(Source: Harvard School of Public Health, US)

More in this section

Puzzles logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day.

Ireland's best off-road cycling trails. Volume 2 of our series.



The best food, health, entertainment and lifestyle content from the Irish Examiner, direct to your inbox.

Sign up