Jago has received treatment at Bristol Royal Infirmary (BRI) ever since his cystic fibrosis diagnosis at the age of 14. Now, aged 21, Jago has written and illustrated 'The Dog Sitter with Cystic Fibrosis' which reflects on his experience of living with the condition. 

Being late-diagnosed at 14 years old with cystic fibrosis (CF) was a life changing moment. It was terrifying for me and every family’s idea of a nightmare. I saw the damage the condition can have on those you love and the physical and mental impact of battling for every breath.

I received treatment at the BRI within weeks of my diagnosis. The specialist consultant team has looked after me ever since and helped me keep as healthy as possible.

It was very difficult to learn about my CF without searching the ‘scary’ outcomes and the brutal truth about how it physically affects our bodies. It led me to search the web for CF books from the diagnosed point of view, so I could read about the condition in a lighter sense and in a more personal tone. It was when I was searching that I had realised there was a very limited amount of books available specifically for kids with cystic fibrosis.

After my diagnosis, I set myself a challenge to fundraise over £1,000 a year towards different charities by taking on events and in 2015, I began looking after dogs when I was fundraising for my first charity challenge. Dog sitting allowed me to raise money and look after my CF condition at the same time, as a usual workplace had proved challenging to my health in the past. It was when I was sat multiple times with the dogs whilst I was doing nebulisers, antibiotics or lying ill in bed that I realised this could be a story children can learn from. I wrote ‘The Dog Sitter with Cystic Fibrosis’ based on my experiences for children to learn about their disease in a more comfortable environment.

I first met Above & Beyond volunteer Sue on one of my ‘clinic’ check-up days when I popped my head into the Fundraising Hub in the BRI searching for a book. We spoke about charity challenges and she persuaded me to join the Bristol to Paris Cycle Challenge team in 2018. Six months later, 420km in four days, we made it to Paris, as part of a team that raised £150,000 for the charity.

I had seen first-hand the impact an illness can have on a family; I also saw the positive effect Above & Beyond has had on many families including my own. Reaching Paris as a team made me tear up. That is why I am proud to be a part of their community and hopefully give back to them. They are working for one of the best causes imaginable: Bristol's hospitals. Thank you to them.

Copies of Jago's book 'The Dog Sitter with Cystic Fibrosis' are available in Above & Beyond's Fundraising Hub in the BRI welcome centre. Proceeds go towards supporting your hospitals.