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Vol 38  No 9
February 2, 2006


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Wesleyville boy supports pulmonary fibrosis research

By Sharon Gray

Myles Burry was the centre of media attention the afternoon of Friday, Jan. 13, when he presented a $750 cheque to Dr. Bridget Fernandez for research on familial pulmonary fibrosis.

Myles is an 11-year old boy from Wesleyville, Bonavista Bay, who raised the money by selling Christmas cards that he designed. He was in St. John’s with his aunt, Dianne Crew, a retired teacher who encouraged Myles in his effort. He was also accompanied by parents Brenda and Craig Burry.

 

Although Myles doesn’t have pulmonary fibrosis, it runs in his family. An uncle died of it and another aunt has it. The family is enrolled in a Memorial University study on familial pulmonary fibrosis. The study is headed up by geneticist Dr. Fernandez, a faculty member at Memorial. Her research team has identified 14 Newfoundland families with the inherited form of the disease. There are 316 people enrolled in the study with 48 affected individuals.

Dr. Fernandez is working with local respirologists, radiologists, pathologists and laboratory scientists to identify the gene for inherited pulmonary fibrosis. “We hope by discovering the gene’s role in lung physiology it will eventually lead to more effective therapy,” she said.

Molecular geneticist Dr. Michael Woods (L) gave a laboratory tour to Myles (R) and his aunt, Dianne Crew. (Photo by HSIMS).
 

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