Like most teenage boys, Joel Blackwell likes being active. With more than eight hours a week dedicated to gymnastics training, it is a wonder he fits in time for football and the odd cross country race – not to mention school work. What’s different about Joel is that he lives with cystic fibrosis, a life-shortening genetic condition that primarily affects the lungs and digestive systems. So on top of his busy schedule, Joel also has to attend to a daily regime of medication and therapy.
Of all the physical therapies people living with cystic fibrosis must endure, bouncing on a trampoline is the only one that is enjoyable. The simple act of bouncing is a highly efficient aerobic exercise that maintains health, helps clear the lungs of thick, sticky mucus and most importantly improves mental health because it’s fun.
This was the inspiration for Cystic Fibrosis Queensland’s Bounce 2 Breathe trampoline fundraising program and when we were looking for a suitable ambassador – Joel came to mind.
Exercise plays a vital role in the fight against cystic fibrosis and benefits include improved lung function, management of diabetes and heart disease, bone strength and mood.When asked about Joel’s attitude to fitness, his mother replied “He’s so sporty it’s not funny. In addition to his formal training sessions for gymnastics and football, he is always active bouncing on the trampoline or skateboarding – doing anything to give his lungs a good work out”.
When the Bounce 2 Breathe trampoline fundraising program was launched in May 2018 at Suncorp Stadium, Joel was on hand to put the trampolines through their paces and to be a role model to his community and an inspiration to other young people wanting to make a difference.
Bounce 2 Breathe (B2B) is a trampoline park experience delivered to your schoolyard, where every bounce raises funds for your school and supports Queenslanders living with this incurable disease. To host B2B at your school call 3359 8000.