CHI was set up in the early 1990s by Roy and Dorothea Ridgway in memory of their son Tony, who died from Cystic Fibrosis at the age of 29, having lived far longer than anyone had expected. Roy had previously worked with International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, and when the Iron Curtain came down, decided to use his contacts to help improve treatment for CF patients in the former Soviet Union. Several projects have been undertaken in Moscow and around Ukraine, which have led to the development of a more integrated approach to the care of children with CF.
Roy sadly died in late 2000, but his work has continued in the same vein, moving from Russia to other countries, such as India, where we think we can help. Dorothea remained a driving force and inspiration to the charity until shortly before her death in September 2008.
Our intention is not to focus on providing drugs. We aim instead to foster a sustainable environment where diseases are diagnosed early, and treatment is carried out both by medical professionals, and where possible, by the child’s family. We achieve this by arranging the transfer of know-how from doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, family support groups and other parties with whom we have links in the UK to their equivalents in the countries where we work. By encouraging treatment to expand beyond the walls of the hospital into the home, we can improve the lot of the sick child with a minimum of financial investment.