Saturday, November 29, 2008

Cystic Fibrosis claims lives of sisters

Pictured: 22-year-old Jodi Dunmore and sister Lucinda, 19.

By Daily Mail Reporter

The 'fun-loving and beautiful' sisters killed by the same disease within 20 months of each other

Many sisters are very close but Jodi and Lucinda Dunmore had more reason than most to feel a strong bond.

Both were born with cystis cibrosis and helped each other get the most out of life despite the lung disease.

But, sadly, it ultimately also united them in death when the sisters passed away less than two years apart.

Their family is preparing for 22-year-old Jodie's funeral on Monday after she died on November 19, having suffered breathlessness.

Lucinda died aged 19 in March 2007 after contracting a flu virus.

They were 'fun-loving beautiful girls' who were incredibly close because of the illness, said their mother Eileen, from Souldrop, Bedfordshire.

'They shared a lot between them,' she said. 'If one was worried, they would talk to each other.

'This illness has been haunting the family for years. We thought treatment would become better, that their health would improve somehow. I guess a cure was too much to ask for.

'Jodi never got over losing Lundinda. She was absolutely terrified every time she got ill. Lucinda died suddenly and Jodi realized that could happen to her too.'

No one else in the family - fahter Clinton, a 54-year-old farmer, and brothers darren, 39, Lee, 31, and James, 18 - has the disease.

It is caused by a defective gene carried by both partners wich clogs the lungs with mucus, causing infection and inflammation..

Jodi was in her final year studying physical geograph at King's College, London.

She was planning a gap year in Australia and Asia, and wanted to become a chartered surveyor.

Lucinda died in the middle of her gap year and had been due to fly to Australia before studying business management at Nottingham University.

Mrs. Dunmore said her strikingly similar daughters had very different personalities.

'Jodi was very fun-loving and vivacious - a real party-goer. Lucinda was more laid back, nothing fazed her.

'We used to call her our little hippy because shw would always be wearing beads instead of shoes.

'Cystic fibrosis lived with them rather than them living with cystic fibrosis.

'They both went skiing, waterskiing, clay pigeon shooting, did everything they wanted because we always knew their lives would be short. We did not know it would be this short.

'It is a devastating disease because the girls looked stunning on the outside but were actually very ill.'

Fraser, the two-year-old son of (British Prime Minister) Gordon Brown, also suffers from cystic fibrosis.

His wife Sarah has campaigned tirelessly to raise the profile of the illness, the UK's most common hereditary disease with over 8,000 sufferers. Their average life expectancy is 31 years.

The Dunmore family has raised more than £100,000 for cystic fibrosis charities over the last 20 years.

Mrs. Dunmore now plans to devote all her energy towards adding to this total.

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