Burnley dad one of first in UK to be given 'major breakthrough' drug for lung disease sets himself challenge to run London Marathon

A Burnley dad has become of the first people in the UK to be given a new drug, hailed as a 'major breakthrough' for treatment of the disease he was born with.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 12:30 pm

Cystic fibrosis is a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe. But a new drug therapy, approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2019, is giving new hope to sufferers.

Ryan Salmon is among those and since he started on the new medication his lung capacity has increased from 25 per cent to 60 per cent.

"It has given me a new lease of life," said Ryan. "I have never let CF stop me from doing what I wanted to do in my life but I can do so much more now, the change is incredble."

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Ryan Salmon with his wife Chloe and their daughter Lottie

The 35-year-old is grateful to his own GP, who pressed for Ryan to have the medication, as it has not only enhanced the quality of his life it has kept him out of hospital.

Ryan is a regular patient at Wythenshawe Hospital's specialist Manchester Adult Cystic Fibrosis Centre, one of the largest and longest established adult (CF) centres in the UK, with an international reputation for excellence and innovation.

It would not be unusual for Ryan, who went to the former St Theodore's RC High School in Burnley to be admitted for treatment for his condition up to three times a year and, heartbreakingly, he spent three weeks in hospital when his daughter Lottie was born 17 months ago.

But he hasn't needed to be admitted for treatment for a year, since he started on the new drug.

Ryan with his father in law Gary when he took part his his second London Marathon.

"It feels great not having to be away from my family for weeks at a time in hospital," said Ryan who works as a sports coach in local primary schools.

"When I was a child the life expectancy of someone with CF was around 28 but with all the medical research carried out to find new treatment and drugs things have really moved on and improved," said Ryan.

That research is carried out by the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, is a UK-based national charity founded in 1964.

Dealing with all aspects of cystic fibrosis the charity funds research to treat and cure CF and aims to ensure appropriate clinical care and support for people with the condition.

And Ryan and his family, including his wife Chloe, who is studying at university to become a nurse, have become passionate fundraisers for the charity througn a series of different events.

And this year Ryan has set himself an enormous challenge, for he has applied to take part in the London Marathon for the CF Trust. The event would normally take place in April but has been put back to October.

Ryan will be joined by his father in law, Gary Ingham, for his third marathon.

Ryan said: "I am waiting to hear if I have been accepted. For me it will be a way of giving something back to the trust to help it continue with the fantastic research.

"It will also be a real personal achievement for me and to receive a medal for completing it will be something for me to give to Lottie."

A fancy dress pub crawl, cancelled due to covid last year, is also due to be held at the end of July. Starting from the Thornton Arms in Worsthorne the route will take in pubs in Burnley town centre, finishing at Remedy nightspot with a live band.