Teen's star role with charity

Hertfordshire teenager Ben Witham is one of six youngsters with Cystic Fibrosis to spearhead a new campaign designed to counter the stigma of the confition.

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Ben heads new charity campaign

A 14-year-old boy from Hertfordshire is helping to promote awareness of Cystic Fibrosis (CF), by starring in a national charity campaign.

Ben Witham from Weston is one of 6 young people chosen to star in a video by the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. It aims to help people feel less embarrassed about living with a life-shortening condition, and to encourage other teenagers with CF to keep up with their medication.

Ben, who goes to Knights Templar School in Baldock, wants to become a psychologist. Each day it takes him two hours to complete his medication and physiotherapy, and he needs frequent hospital appointments.

Despite that Ben rarely misses school, and tries to lead as normal a life as he can - he loves drama, plays rugby and is very sociable.

The Cystic Fibrosis Trust says that people with CF often look perfectly healthy, which sometimes means people are not aware of what a burden it can be.

The condition slowly destroys the lungs and digestive system, and can escalate without warning. The Trust's latest statistics show that CF directly affects around 10,000 people in the UK, and that only half live to celebrate their 40th birthday.

The video has also been released ahead of Jeans for Genes Day, which raises money for children with genetic disorders. It takes place this Friday (20 September)


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