Why we are supporting Henfest!

Henfest is a two day festival held in Winborne, Dorset which raises money for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and the Royal Brompton and Harefield Charities.   This year it is being held on 19th and 20th June.  It is set to be an amazing event with loads of brilliant bands and artists and fun activities for all!

Cystic Fibrosis (CF) affects the lungs and digestive system by clogging them with thick sticky mucous, making it hard to breathe and to digest food. Sufferers look healthy but only half will reach their 40th birthday.

The festival has been going since 2011 and set up by Gail Stuart. Gail’s daughter Kate has CF. When Kate’s health deteriorated rapidly, she was unable to attend festivals – so Gail decided to run her own and Henfest was born! Thankfully in 2012, Kate received a life-saving transplant under the care of Harefield Hospital.

The girls from Cordelectra, who have been together since 2007, were asked to perform at Henfest as Debbie Packer, cellist, has CF. She has battled every day to keep as normal and busy a life as possible, working part time as an HR Manager and performing with Cordelectra.

1377351_612015028849217_358648787_nDebbie, 28 from Whiteley, who also has diabetes, asthma and osteoporosis, says “being part of Cordelectra has really helped push me into working even harder at my CF treatments. I spend between 3-6 hours a day carrying out treatment, which includes inhalers, nebulisers, physiotherapy sessions, injections, taking over 30 tablets a day and drinking high calorie shakes. I also have to have Intravenous Antibiotics every 8/12 weeks which usually require up to 2 weeks of hospitalisation at the Southampton CF Unit”.  “Emma and Trish never give up on me and really push me when I need it!”

It may seem impossible to think how Debbie manages all this, but she says “I carefully plan my contracted gigs with Cordelectra to ensure they don’t clash with any potential hospital admissions. Emma and Patricia, are extremely understanding and they will also offer a duo performance if we know that I will be in hospital.   They also carry my cello around for me as although I can happily perform on stage, I do struggle walking long distances and I did choose the heaviest, largest instrument!!” Emma says “You would never even know Debbie had anything wrong with her – myself and Patricia help Debbie lug her cello around as we want her to save her energy for the stage! None of our clients would know what she is putting up with – which is what we all want!”

Cordelectra fuse contemporary and classical sounds, the girls, who are musically trained at the highest level, have combined their classical talents, creative ideas and love of performance to develop a uniquely entertaining stage show.   They have performed at many prestigious events throughout the UK and Europe.