Cystic fibrosis casino fundraiser a safe bet

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By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario - Linda Lynch joined roller derby to find strength as her son battles with cystic fibrosis. What she found was a team willing to fight for a cure.

The Seaway Roller Derby Girls (SRDG) have rallied together to make gambling a safe bet for cystic fibrosis research and care programs at their Casino Night fundraiser on Friday, April 11 at 7 p.m. 

The event takes place at Spot Light Hall & Conference Centre (17369 Cornwall Centre Road) and is open to ages 19 years and older. Test your luck at poker, blackjack, and roulette in support of Cystic Fibrosis Canada and SRDG. Tickets are $25 (which includes $500 in casino playing chips).

"My team has made a commitment to help raise funds for cystic fibrosis, which takes a lot of pressure off me," said Lynch.

On the roller rink she goes by Lynch An-Aideur. For the last year, she has been playing a sport that is known for its competitive nature, quick pace, and hard-hitting action. But Lynch's biggest opponent doesn't wear a helmet or move on wheels.

Her 16-year-old son Myles' type of cystic fibrosis requires him to take plenty of antibiotics, prescribed inhalants, and use a feeding tube nightly to force fluids into him to increase his calorie intake.

Cystic fibrosis is a multi-organ disease affecting primarily the lungs and the digestive system.

Throughout his life, three months is the longest Myles has ever gone without an appointment at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) in Ottawa.

Lynch said for nearly half a decade her son has spent almost one third of each year at CHEO or Sick Kids in Toronto.

"My son has had to miss a lot of school, so one parent is forced to stay home," she said.

Lynch and her husband alternate hospital duties dividing weekday and weekend responsibilities.

On March 26, Myles requires tests to see if he can be a candidate for a double lung transplant. The Lynchs have been travelling back and forth from Toronto to see if he qualifies for the past four years.

Myles can walk 690 meters in six minutes while on oxygen.

"At his age I could run 800 meters in two minutes and 13 seconds. It is not the lifestyle I wanted for my son. He was born with athletic genes," said Lynch.

Myles' grandfather was inducted in the Sports Hall of Fame in New Brunswick and his mother is a member of the South Stormont Sports Hall of Fame.

"If they could find a cure for all children with cystic fibrosis before it permanently damages their lungs, digestive system, liver, kidney, pancreas and basically every single cell in their body that would be the best," said Lynch.

She is floored that her fellow teammates have stepped up in such a big way to help her son and others living with the disease.

"Roller derby has allowed me to have a voice and with an entire team to help commit to fundraising, I feel alive. I have hope," said Lynch.

For ticket purchases, sponsorship or other information, please contact Angel Kisnics at 613-938-8455 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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