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Vernon resident trekking for Cystic Fibrosis in Jordan

Katie MacGillivray is one of 4,500 in Canada living with the fatal disease
Katie MacGillivray will be taking on a five day trek for Cystic Fibrosis in Petra, Jordan. (Contributed)

A Vernon resident, along with 25 other Canadians, will be tightening their boots as they attempt a five-day trek in the Jordanian desert, in support of Cystic Fibrosis (CF).

Katie MacGillivray will be participating in the CF Canada’s Trek.

“This year I am very excited to be participating in CF Canada’s Worldwide Trek to Petra, Jordan,” said MacGillivray. “I was diagnosed with CF when I was four years old. At 25, I’m very lucky to be quite healthy and active but CF is still a very big part of my life.”

The purpose of the hike throughout the southern Jordanian area of Petra is to help raise funds to improve the lives of every Canadian affected by CF.

CF is the most common and fatal genetic disease affecting young Canadians, as one in 25 people carry a CF gene. If both parents are carriers, their is a 25 per cent chance their child will have the disorder.

Medical advancements have greatly improved the length and quality of life, but a cure is needed. Due to the genetic defect, people with CF have thicker mucous, so any infection is more serious, resulting in destruction of lung tissue and loss of lung function. Preventing lung infections is the key to staying healthy and the estimated median age of survival in Canada for those living with CF is 56 years old.

MacGillivray, along with her sister Leah, mom Elaine and friends Sheilah, KitKat and Karen will be trekking, under the team name Girls Trek for 65 Roses, to support the 4,500 people in Canada living with the disease.

The 65 Roses story dates back to 1965 when an observant four year old, hearing the name of his disease for the first time pronounced cystic fibrosis “65 roses.”

Trip and airfare costs to Jordan are entirely done by the team, and all fundraising contributions will go directly to CF Canada. The team will be hiking close to 15 kilometres a day, through the 40 degrees Celsius heat in the desert.

“We are required to fundraise a minimum of $4,500 per person ($27,000/team) for CF Canada - $1 for every Canadian living with CF,” MacGillivray said. “The fundraising efforts will help provide access to life changing medicines, contribute to healthcare, help fund new research and provide ongoing support to the CF Community.”

The trek begins Nov. 10, with a completion date set for Nov. 18.

The team has already reached their fundraising goal of $25,000, but is still accepting donations at

More information on CF can be found at

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Bowen Assman

About the Author: Bowen Assman

I joined The Morning Star team in January 2023 as a reporter. Before that, I spent 10 months covering sports in Kelowna.
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