A dad from Northampton and his daughter are fronting the Christmas campaign for a national charity.
Former newspaper journalist Martin Smith, who wrote the Amazon bestselling Charlie Fry books, appears in a specially made video with daughter Emily, aged five.
In the video, Martin talks about how a member of his family has cystic fibrosis and how he hopes the family will be able to enjoy many more special moments together.
As the short film ends, it shows that Martin is the one with cystic fibrosis and he hopes to spend much more time with his daughter.
Cystic fibrosis is a devastating genetic condition that leads to a build-up of thick, sticky mucus in the body’s organs. There are numerous medical issues this causes and it can lead to dangerous infections that over time severely damage the lungs.
There is no cure for cystic fibrosis and in Britain people with the condition have a median average life expectancy of 31 although this is rising due to earlier diagnosis, better medical treatment and advances in medicine.
Martin, 38, said: “My name is Martin and I have cystic fibrosis (CF). I have a little girl called Emily who is five years old. I’ve ticked a lot of things off my bucket list over the last few years, like taking my family to Disneyland Paris and seeing Emily’s first nativity play, but there are a lot of special moments I still want to see. The Christmas mornings, the birthday parties, the first day of Brownies, school sports days, and her first day of secondary school.
“Cystic fibrosis is, of course, an unpredictable battle, but you have to dream and believe.
“I know I’m luckier than most: I am nearing the magic 40 mark, I married my childhood sweetheart and we have a wonderful daughter. Before my friends with cystic fibrosis passed away they used to call me “the lucky one”, and I guess they were right. But my lung function is now at just 40 per cent.”
Martin said he is backing the campaign because of the important work it does.
He added: "Cystic fibrosis kills, but the Trust’s dedication to funding new research and treatments provides a glimmer of hope for brighter days ahead. We need that support; we need people to understand the battle of cystic fibrosis, and we need every chance to live longer lives.
"My friends with cystic fibrosis whose lives were cut short deserved so, so much more. You can make a difference – please donate today.”
To see the video and to make a donation to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust go online at cysticfibrosis.org.uk/Christmas
Martin was a journalist on the Brackley Post before joining the Coventry Telegraph where he worked as a news reporter an then the title’s multi-media editor – a job he left in 2012 due to his condition.
Since then, he has become an author and is behind the best-selling children’s books the Charlie Fry Series, which feature an 11-year-old boy called Charlie who has cystic fibrosis.
His first book – called The Football Boy Wonder – was a number 1 bestseller and has sold more than 35,000 copies.
Martin publishes his books via Kindle Direct Publishing, Amazon’s publishing programme that enables authors to publish direct to readers via the Kindle store in e-book and print formats. Authors receive up to 70 per cent royalties on their work, and on any given day, up to 25 per cent of the Top 100 books on the UK Kindle store are published through KDP.