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The Facebook video that helps six-year-old Jesse James take his 45 pills a day

Jesse James O'Brien, from Kesgrave, has to take 45 pills a day.

A mother from Suffolk harnessed the power of Facebook to encourage her six-year-old son with a genetic illness to take 45 tablets a day.

Jesse James O'Brien, from Kesgrave, refused to take the medication he needs to treat cystic fibrosis.

But, after his mum posted a video of the little boy gradually making his way through the dozens of pills, the support and encouragement he received from well-wishers who watched it gave him the boost he needed.

Serena Sandhu reports.


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)

Hertfordshire teenager spearheads charity campaign

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.

Ben, 14, said: "I hope that I can help other teenagers my age to deal with their CF in a positive way and not get miserable about it."

More details on the condition and the campaign are available on the Cystic Fibrosis Trust website.