Research can help defeat condition

CYSTIC fibrosis is a very cruel disease.It is a genetic condition so children suffer from birth - and caring for a child with cystic fibrosis can put a strain on the whole family.

CYSTIC fibrosis is a very cruel disease.

It is a genetic condition so children suffer from birth - and caring for a child with cystic fibrosis can put a strain on the whole family.

The young sufferer needs support from parents or carers to ensure they get the right cocktail of drugs - and get regular physiotherapy.

Then there is the knowledge that, as things stand at present, the life expectancy of someone with cystic fibrosis does not extend beyond their early 30s.

However there is real hope that in the not too distant future a treatment may be isolated which can transform the lives of those that suffer from this condition.

As scientists working with the Cystic Fibrosis Trust continue their work, there is real hope that within a generation it could become a treatable condition on a part with diabetes.

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That would allow sufferers to take a daily drug to regulate and control the condition - and should eventually give them the chance of a full life.

But such research needs money, money that comes largely from the Trust - and we are delighted to be supporting that charity through this year's Ipswich and Suffolk Press Ball.

Over the next few months we will be highlighting the work of the Trust and hope to be able to give it a big boost at the end of a glittering night.

We are also delighted to once again be supporting Suffolk charity Disability Care Enterprise which has given hundreds of youngsters the opportunity of a more mobile life over the years.

AT LAST the government has stopped dithering and belatedly come to the conclusion that the only solution to the problem of the Northern Rock is to take it into public ownership.

It is a decision which financial experts said was inevitable on the day the company's financial problems became clear.

Now it looks as if the government is likely to lose a substantial part of the £55 billion it used to shore up the bank's reserves - that is £2,000 for every taxpayer in the country.

The hope has to be now that a substantial part of that sum will be recovered, but at what cost for those who work for the Northern Rock or who had shares in what had been a very successful bank.

All its attempts to persuade Richard Branson and other finance companies to take over the bank have now failed - they simply could not offer guarantees that the money would be paid back.

Chancellor Alastair Darling and prime minister Gordon Brown have seen their authority undermined by this disastrous affair - and have much to do if they are to restore the government's reputation for financial competence.

ISN'T it good when the area's football teams give their fans something to cheer at the weekend?

Ipswich Town returned to winning ways at Portman Road for the first time since January 1 and Needham Market progressed to the quarter finals of the FA Vase.

Football fans in the area can now start hoping for a unique Suffolk double - the Tractor Boys' return to the Premier League and Needham's appearance in a Wembley final.