Melissa Verleg (middle) has been fighting for access to medication for her cystic fibrosis. (Photo submitted)

Okanagan Walks to Make Cystic Fibrosis History

Penticton and Vernon two of 11 that have events taking place Saturday, May 26

During Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month, participants from more than 70 communities in Canada will come together to participate in The Walk to Make Cystic Fibrosis History on Sunday, May 26.

The Walk to Make Cystic Fibrosis History is returning to Vernon at Polson Park.

“This is the first walk recently. There used to be a walk here years ago but there wasn’t anyone to run it,” said Melissa Verleg, who stepped up to orgnaize the event this year. “I’m not sure when the last one was.”

Verleg, who has spent over a year fighting the government for rights to medication for her cystic fibrosis, attended the walk in Penticton with her family last year. She lost access to a medication called Orkambi on Jan. 20, 2018 and with it, she lost the ability to perform even the simplest of tasks such as cooking dinner and playing with her kids.

When The Morning Star reached out to ask if she has had any success, she wrote, “I don’t have much of an update pertaining to my fight for Orkambi. The government still hasn’t changed their stance on anything.”

Related: MLA pushing province and pharmaceutical to save Vernon woman

Related: Melissa’s battle hurts

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Canadian Walk to Make Cystic Fibrosis History. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. and the walk is set to take place around 10 a.m. Vernon’s walk is three km long and will end with a closing ceremony at 11 a.m. Organizers ask that no pets be brought to the walk.

“I welcome everyone to join me and Walk to Make Cystic Fibrosis History,” said Verleg.

More than 4,300 Canadians live with Cystic Fibrosis, the most common fatal genetic disease among Canadian children and young adults. There is no cure.

To register or donate, visit www.cysticfibrosis.ca.

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Related: Tickets for annual hospital gala almost sold out

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