Wexford graduate Joseph keeps promise to late sister

By dAVID TUCKER

Published 08/10/2016 | 00:00

Joseph at his graduation with parents Philomena and Ian.
Joseph at his graduation with parents Philomena and Ian.

A Cystic Fibrosis (CF) sufferer from Castlebridge has kept his last promise to his dying sister by graduating with a Bachelors of Science degree in Neuroscience from University College Dublin (UCD).

'My last promise to you, told I'd keep it Tracie, I'm not done yet,' Joseph Lawlor said recently in an emotional Facebook posting. His sister Tracie died from CF in 2007, her death leading to the establishment in 2008 of the Tracie Lawlor Trust.

Graduation was an emotional day for Joseph, the youngest of three in his family, his mother Philomena, father Ian and his girlfriend Michelle.

Joseph suffered declining health over three to four years following Tracie's death, however, his his love of science, how the brain works and general health gave him the drive to study a BSc in Neuroscience in UCD.

During his period at UCD he not only completed his thesis in calcium binding protein and its relevance as a novel target for such diseases as cancer and Alzheimer's, but close to his heart as always was his charity, the Tracie Lawlor Trust for Cystic Fibrosis (TLT4CF).

The Trust has published studies in leading journals such as Respiratory Care and The European Journal of Integrative Medicine, funded studies in Stanford University USA and will soon publish their final funded study of their science program, a third phase of CF-CATS, which is tailored Tai Chi for CF's adolescents and their careers, which will be first presented at this year's European conference for Cystic Fibrosis.

Joseph has a particular interest in personalised medicine, for a tailored approach for treating an individual through genetics and their environment, from which a booklet on general integrative medicine for CF is currently been finalised, the first of its kind with editors from Stanford to Joseph himself. With all the upcoming scientific publications from the charity Joseph is taking a well-earned rest and giving himself a chance to improve his overall health. The charity raises funds for and awareness of cystic fibrosis, a condition with which Tracie battled throughout her life. Cystic Fibrosis is Ireland's most common life threatening inherited genetic condition; Ireland has the highest incidence in the world of CF, with one in 19 people a carrier. The charity (TLT4CF) is run by parents, friends and CF's on a volunteer basis and benefits patients to help improve their quality of life, through an assistance fund offering gym membership, equipment, physiotherapy treatment and other medically-recommended services. They also are unique as the charity funds integrative medical research specific to Cystic Fibrosis patients. The Tracie Lawlor Trust is an independent charity. For more information or to help see tracielawlortrust.com

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