What is Cystic Fibrosis?
Cystic fibrosis is an inherited and, in most cases, life-shortening disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide). A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that:
- clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections; and
- obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food.
In the 1950s, few children with cystic fibrosis lived to attend elementary school. Today, advances in research and medical treatments have further enhanced and extended life for children and adults with CF. Many people with the disease can now expect to live into their 30s, 40s and beyond. [Souce: cff.org}
Another good source of info comes from our Canadian friends at the Toronto Adult CF site.
This video, made by a group of volunteers in Illinois, illustrates just a few of the difficulties that CF inflicts on families and children. It also touches on the light at the end of the tunnel-- the cures that have already started coming for a small group of CF patients, and the cures that are coming the the many, many other patients -- with your help -- within the decade.