When Every Day is a Fight to Breathe

Date of issue: October 19, 2017
Boxing legend Michael Carruth was today firmly in Cystic Fibrosis Ireland’s corner at Dublin’s Irish Film Institute for the launch of a new awareness campaign to heighten understanding of life with cystic fibrosis.

“Fight to Breathe” is a new 60-second cinema feature advertisement that graphically illustrates how life for a person with cystic fibrosis is exactly that  ̶  a constant fight to breathe  ̶  and invites audiences to experience that fight for themselves. It features Edelle Collins, from Castleknock, who has cystic fibrosis. The campaign is set to run in 73 cinemas nationwide for six weeks from October 20 and is being shown free of charge thanks to the generosity of Wide Eye Media. The feature advertisement can be viewed online at www.cfireland.ie

As part of the campaign, cinema-goers will have the opportunity to support the work of Cystic Fibrosis Ireland by texting “FightCF” to 50300 to donate €4* to Cystic Fibrosis Ireland or by donating online at www.cfireland.ie. [*Text costs €4. Cystic Fibrosis Ireland will receive a minimum of €3.25. Service Provider: LIKECHARITY. Helpline: 076 6805278.]

The campaign is the creation of Conor Hamill and Laura Cahill from ad agency Rothco, winners of the Irish Film Young Lions competition, whose prize was to see their creative concept for Cystic Fibrosis Ireland go from script to screen. The duo also represented Ireland at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, a global gathering of the media and advertising industry. “Fight to Breathe” is the culmination of an exciting partnership between the Institute of Advertising Practitioners in Ireland, RTÉ, Wide Eye Media, Rothco and the Pull the Trigger production company.

Coming out Fighting for Cystic Fibrosis
Boxing legend Michael Carruth, is hoping the campaign will deliver a “knock-out blow” for Cystic Fibrosis Ireland:

“For me, jumping into a ring and fighting for survival was a choice. The sad reality is that for people with cystic fibrosis there is no choice. Life is a constant battle for survival. That’s why I’m delighted to lend my support to this campaign which brings home in dramatic fashion the heart-breaking reality of how challenging life for people with cystic fibrosis is. The campaign asks us to step into their shoes and, in just 60 seconds, we soon realise how the normal breathing we perhaps take for granted, is anything but normal for a person with cystic fibrosis as they struggle to deal with mucus, coughing, and shortness of breath. We have got to continue fighting the good fight when it comes to cystic fibrosis.”

Philip Watt, Chief Executive, Cystic Fibrosis Ireland, says this campaign highlights the fighting spirit of people with cystic fibrosis:

“The average person takes a breath 16 times a minute but it’s something that for most of us we scarcely notice. It just happens. However, a person with cystic fibrosis often has to fight to breathe. That’s their daily reality. And it doesn’t just naturally happen. It often involves up to four hours every day of chest physio, inhalers, nebulisers and medications, just to make things bearable. This advertisement makes life with cystic fibrosis very real and personal, and brings home to people in a very simple, yet compelling way, how difficult it can be. People with cystic fibrosis are well-known for their fighting spirit. They don’t give up and we owe it to them to offer support in every way that we can.”

Tapping into the Cinema Audience Experience
For Tania Banotti, Chief Executive, Institute of Advertising Practitioners in Ireland, the campaign has two big winners – the creative talent behind it and the worthy cause of cystic fibrosis:

“We believe it is important to nurture young creative talent. The goal was to give two young people the experience of seeing an idea for a TV commercial go from script to execution. The second goal was to support a charity, this year that charity is Cystic Fibrosis Ireland. Conor and Laura’s creation aims to change the audience’s perception of what it is like to have Cystic Fibrosis.”

Eoin Wrixon, Chief Executive, Wide Eye Media, believes the campaign really taps into the cinema audience experience in highlighting the challenges of cystic fibrosis:

“Wide Eye Media is very proud to support Cystic Fibrosis Ireland through our sponsorship of the Cannes Young Lions competition. Conor Hamill and Laura Cahill, together with Pull the Trigger, have produced a stand-out ad which uses the cinema medium to great effect. We look forward to seeing how the cinema campaign raises awareness of, and funds for, Cystic Fibrosis Ireland.”


Issued by: Nuala McAuley, Cystic Fibrosis Ireland, tel.: 01 4962433 or email nmcauley@cfireland.ie

For more information, visit www.cfireland.ie, or follow on facebook.com/CysticFibrosisIreland and on twitter.com/cf_ireland. The campaign hashtag is #fighttobreathe

What is cystic fibrosis (CF)?
CF is Ireland’s most common life-threatening inherited disease. CF is a genetic disorder. It is not contagious, rather people are born with it. Approximately 1 in 19 people are carriers of the CF gene and when two carriers have a child there is a one in four chance of a child being born with it. CF affects the regulation of absorption and secretion of salt and water in various parts of the body including the lungs, sweat glands, pancreas, and gastrointestinal tracts. This defect inhibits the flow of salt and water through the body’s cells, causing a build-up of thick, sticky mucus, which can clog airways and harbour harmful bacteria. Symptoms reported by people with CF vary significantly in severity from mild to debilitating. The most common symptom is recurrent chest infection, which results in lung damage, with the majority of deaths occurring through respiratory failure. There is a high prevalence of CF in Europe, with the highest prevalence in Ireland, which is almost three times the average rate in other EU countries and the United States.

About Cystic Fibrosis Ireland
Cystic Fibrosis Ireland, established by parents in 1963, is a leading national organisation dedicated to improving the quality of life of people with CF and their families across Ireland. It does this through providing information and education, advice and advocacy to people and their families, offering grant assistance, undertaking research, funding state-of-the-art dedicated CF health facilities and CF clinical staff, and advancing the development of lung transplantation in Ireland. Cystic Fibrosis Ireland comprises 19 branches and one regional branch and is overseen by a national executive committee, which includes representation from people with CF and their families. For more, visit www.cfireland.ie.

To learn more about CF, check out our partners CysticLife and Strawfie Challenge.
Jessica Gladwell

Jessica Gladwell

Jessica Gladwell is one of PW's consultants and patient editors. She has lived with late-stage, chronic Lyme and POTS since circa 2002. She has also served as a caregiver to close family members with late-stage, chronic Lyme. Before diagnosis, she served as a business consultant for a large corporation and PM for a small digital branding agency. Now, she is proactive in the rare and neurological disease community, spreading awareness and advising on matters of health and lifestyle when living with a chronic illness.

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