Daniel and Jessica both have cystic fibrosis, which means a life expectancy of 37 years.
Just days after Daniel was born, his mum, Joanne, was concerned with his feeding. Six weeks later, a heel prick test revealed that he had cystic fibrosis, a fatal genetic disease affecting breathing and even the ability to digest food.
Joanne was devastated: "When you’re told that your child has an illness, you go through a grieving process, you ask yourself, 'When’s the day that my child will no longer be here?'"
Six years after Daniel was born, Joanne had a daughter, Jessica, only to find out that she too had cystic fibrosis.
"The reality is, I will probably outlive both my children," she said.
The despair of having a second child diagnosed with cystic fibrosis was made even more difficult by Jessica’s physical health.
"Jessica was born with dislocated hips, which made her physio to begin with particularly difficult."
But thankfully for Jessica, she has a very special older brother to help her through.
"Daniel looks after Jessica, he’s very protective of her. He helps her with her treatment and now has someone to share it all with. Their relationship is incredibly special."
Now, having had a second child with cystic fibrosis, Joanne is especially proud of Daniel’s personal contribution to the research. "Daniel was part of a five year study. I’m glad he did. I think it really helps down the track, helps them know a lot more about cystic fibrosis."
Research is all that gives Joanne the strength to keep going; it’s the only hope she has left: "The medical research is improving every day. When Daniel was diagnosed, they said he may not live to 12 or 13; he has now hit 10 years old."
Help increase the life expectancy of sick kids like Daniel and Jessica by donating today. We need to raise $440,000 for this appeal by the 30 June to fund vital research towards respiratory illnesses such as cystic fibrosis).
All donations over $2 received by 30 June can be claimed as part of your 2010 tax return.