Young Luka and his mom Tracey Landry.
CORNWALL, Ontario - The joy of being a new mother lasted exactly two weeks for Tracey Landry.
The Cornwall woman learned, at Christmas no less, that her infant son Luka is one of tens of thousands of young people in Canada grappling with cystic fibrosis.
But at just two weeks of age little Luka had no idea of the life that awaits him - but his mother does.
"It was horrible. We were just leaving my pediatrician's office in Cornwall when we got a call from CHEO saying a blood test had come back abnormal," said Landry, who had to make a 60-minute trip to the hospital to get the bad news. "The first thing the doctor said to me is I don't have good news for you."
Cystic fibrosis is the most common fatal genetic disease affecting Canadian children and young adults. It is a multi-system disease that affects mainly the lungs and the digestive system. In the lungs, where the effects are most devastating, a build-up of thick mucus causes severe respiratory problems. Mucus and protein also build up in the digestive tract, making it difficult to digest and absorb nutrients from food.
"It's just realizing what the future will be - it's tough," said Landry, who added Luka at five months old appears to be a healthy baby. "He's thriving. He's adding weight, but he fights with his bottle a lot."
Landry has found a wealth of support through the Cystic Fibrosis Canada, and will take part in next weekend's Great Strides Walk in Cornwall.
"It's been wonderful," Landry said of the support network locally. "The community and the people I've talked to - they give you hope.
"It's not doom and gloom."
The Great Strides Walk, which is sponsored in part by local Kinsmen and Kinettes, takes place Sunday, May 25 at Lamoureux Park.
Registration starts at 10 a.m., followed by Zumba with Pascale at 10:30 a.m. and the walk beginning at 11 a.m. There will be a Kid’s Zone with a fun walk and activities. There will also be a barbeque after the walk. Proceeds from the walk fund CF research and care.
To register, sponsor, donate, or join a team, visit www.cysticfibrosis.ca/greatstrides.
In addition, Landry's friends Danielle MacNeil, Michelle Daniluck and Becky Clarke are organizing 'Luka's Prom' to help raise money for the family. The event takes place May 23 at Royal Canadian Legion Branch 297 at 8 p.m.
Tickets are $20 or 2/$30 - available at Echo Trends, Cazza Petite in the Cornwall Square, and the Transport Training Center on Tollgate. Also available at the door at prom.
All proceeds are benefiting the family directly to help with transportations costs, overnight stays in Ottawa for CHEO treatments, and the cost of meds in the future.
Check out the event on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/223160321218623/?ref=br_tf.