"I've never asked for a handout but we are struggling"
ANDREW Battistuzzi is a proud man who has never asked for help.
That has changed recently as for the last 21 years he has watched his beloved wife Alison slowly lose her battle with Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic disease.
"(I've) never asked for a handout but we are struggling and I am now admitting I need help," he said.
"We need help."
CF, as it is commonly known, primarily affects the lungs and digestive system due to a malfunction in the exocrine system.
This is the system responsible for producing saliva, sweat, tears and mucus.
There is currently no cure and people with CF develop an abnormal amount of excessively thick and sticky mucus within the lungs, airways and digestive system.
The mucus causes impairment of the digestive functions of the pancreas and traps bacteria in the lungs resulting in recurrent infections which lead to irreversible damage.
Lung failure is the major cause of death for someone with CF.
From birth, a person with CF undergoes constant medical treatments and physiotherapy.
Alison has gone downhill rapidly in the last 12 months and is now what they class as "end stage CF".
She is on oxygen at least 12 out of 24 hours a day and eventually this will be 24/7.
Her only hope of survival is a bi-lateral lung transplant which will give her more precious years to watch her now 10 year old autistic son grow up into a handsome,smart young man.
It will also give her time to spend with her close family and friends who have been very supportive.
The Battistuzzi family travel to Brisbane every month for clinic visits. If Alison is then placed in hospital (which is becoming more common) that can increase to 4-5 times a month.
Medication is costly and on his Go Fund Me page Andrew says it has been a real struggle.
"Once we get the call and the operation goes ahead we then have to live near the Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane for at least four months," he said.
"The cheapest accommodation being $900 a week + living expenses and after all that (after) she gets home, it is monthly trips back to Prince Charles which will gradually become less frequent in time.
"As you may imagine this is taking a toll on our lives physically,mentally ,emotionally and of course financially.
"We also have a mortgage which still needs to be paid.
"I have worked in the same job for 33 years and have done my best to give my little family the best of my ability.
"With Alison's illness it has forced me to give up work temporarily so I can be here to help her as everyday tasks are now a struggle and she literally cannot do it.
"We have done our best to save some money towards the expenses we will be facing in the very near future, however, we have fallen short considerably."
A charity bowls day has been organised at the Casino RSM Club and Fosfit have been helping too.
There will be lucky door prizes and raffles on the day which will be November 25 with a 5.30pm start.
If you would like to help the Battistuzzi family by donating to them, you can go to their Go Fund Me page at