Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Camino De Santiago

Hands up who has heard of the El Camino? The Camino De Santiago, aka El Camino, The Way of St James, or just The Way. It is an enlightening pilgrimage ending up in Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Some people walk in from the UK, some from Portugal, but most walk through France.

And this is what my dear friend Judith did with her partner Jen. And they dedicated their pilgrimage to me! As you can imagine this was totally unexpected and an enormous honour. Who would walk 500+ kilometres for me? Well, they did!

They also promoted the BACTERIOPHAGE cause and pleaded for donations for me to help make the world more aware of how great a tool Bacteriophages are in our war against antibiotic resistance. This boosted my campaign greatly, and they even donated a dollar for every kilometer they walked, most generous!

Judith and Jen:

...And feeling so very lucky to have just finished walking the Camino Sanabrés. As many of you would know walking 500+km was not something that was on my wish list! I DO however realise how fortunate I am to have the good health to be able to choose to do such a thing.
As it so happens, you can choose to walk a camino for someone else and Jen and I chose to walk ours for Walter J Van Praag.No doubt in my mind that Wally will be up to walking another camino before too long but first he needs to kick an antibiotic- resistant lung infection - a particularly shitty thing for someone with cystic fibrosis to be doing battle with.
Wally’s best hope of winning that battle is with phage therapy - a quiet achiever that needs help getting some air play. Jen and I are both kicking in a dollar for each kilometre we just walked to help Wally document and hopefully film his experience working with Dr Benjamin Chan, a phage researcher at Yale University. He has had success treating a handful of people with phage therapy so far - have a listen to this radio interview to find out more.


I know there are many good causes out there and not everyone can afford to contribute to everything. But if you have a spare $5, please do consider joining Walter’s “Phage Club” and helping advance phage therapy more broadly. It’s likely we will all need it at some point in the not too distant future.'


If you have a spare 15 minutes do listen to the CBC interview with Benjamin Chan, the man who I am hoping will treat me in the coming month or two.

Just one note, phage-therapy is not a miracle cure, it is a treatment just like antibiotics and usually given in conjunction with antibiotics. It is important we get phage medicine as part of regular treatment for antibiotic-resistant infections. Exact reasons are detailed in the interview with Dr Cahn. People with Cystic Fibrosis are often infected by such bacteria and would likely need treatment on an annual or more frequent basis. Some lung infections us people with CF get are worse than others, and my Pseudomonas Aeruginosa infection is one of the hardier ones. Chances are great that after that one is eradicated another opportunistic bug will grab hold, but many are more treatable with standard antibiotics still....

Thank you Judith and Jen for your great contribution and support! And if you believe in phages please support my campaign: www.gofundme.com/phage-or-fail-with-antibiotics.

All monies raised will be used for publicity of the cause, not for my travel or treatment!

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