Learn about cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder that affects the lungs, pancreas, and other organs, and how to treat and live with this chronic disease.
CF is a rare genetic disease found in about 30,000 people in the U.S. If you have CF or are considering testing for it, knowing about the role of genetics in CF can help you make informed decisions about your health care.
If you or your child has just been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, or your doctor has recommended testing for CF, you may have many questions.
Diagnosing CF is a multistep process. A complete diagnostic evaluation should include a newborn screening, a sweat chloride test, a genetic or carrier test, and a clinical evaluation at a CF Foundation-accredited care center.
Raising a child with cystic fibrosis can bring up many questions because CF affects many aspects of your child’s life. Here you’ll find resources to help you manage your child’s daily needs and find the best possible CF care.
Living with cystic fibrosis comes with many challenges, including medical, social, and financial. By learning more about how you can manage your disease every day, you can ultimately help find a balance between your busy lifestyle and your CF care.
People with CF are living longer, healthier lives than ever before. As an adult with CF, you may reach key milestones you might not have considered. Planning for these life events requires careful thought as you make decisions that may impact your life.
People with cystic fibrosis are living longer and more fulfilling lives, thanks in part to specialized CF care and a range of treatment options.
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation-accredited care centers provide expert care and specialized disease management to people living with cystic fibrosis.
We provide funding for and accredit more than 120 care centers and 53 affiliate programs nationwide. The high quality of specialized care available throughout the care center network has led to the improved length and quality of life for people with CF.
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation provides standard care guidelines based on the latest research, medical evidence, and consultation with experts on best practices.
As a clinician, you’re critical in helping people with CF maintain their quality of life. We’re committed to helping you partner with patients and their families by providing resources you can use to improve and continue to provide high-quality care.
As part of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's mission to help improve the lives of people living with cystic fibrosis, the PSDC initiative taps the CF community to inform key efforts to support the management of daily care.
Your cystic fibrosis care team includes a group of CF health care professionals who partner with you to provide specialized, comprehensive CF care.
Many people living with cystic fibrosis and their families face complicated issues related to getting the care they need. Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Compass makes sure that no one has to do it alone.
CF Foundation Compass is a service that helps people with CF and their families with navigating insurance options, connecting to legal information and experts, finding available financial resources, and tackling other life issues.
CF care team members are paramount in providing highly specialized care to people living with CF. CF Foundation Compass can help by serving as a strategic ally for care teams, so team members can focus on their patients’ care.
CF Foundation Compass can help you navigate insurance, financial, legal, and other issues you are facing. Use this online form to start your conversation with a Compass case manager today.
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the world’s leader in the search for a cure for CF and supports a broad range of research initiatives to tackle the disease from all angles.
The CF Foundation offers a number of resources for learning about clinical trials and treatments that are being developed to improve the treatment of cystic fibrosis.
Our understanding of CF continues to evolve as scientists study what causes the disease and how it affects the body. These insights drive the development of new and better treatments and bring us one step closer to a cure.
Researchers, supported by the CF Foundation, have made tremendous advances to improve the health and quality of life of people with CF. We are committed to providing the tools and resources you need to continuously build upon this work.
Here's a snapshot of six works we're spotlighting from members of the CF community. Whether they shared their story through writing, a podcast, or video, their work has been shaped by their experiences of living with CF. Learn what creating these works has meant for them and what readers and listeners can take away.
December 20, 2019
Top 10 Blog Posts of 2019
Realizing CF Didn’t Make My Goals Impossible
Author, “Life Happens for You: Backpacking the World With Cystic Fibrosis"
When I was a teen and young adult learning to cope with the reality of a life with CF, I would have wished for a story that could have given me hope that leading a fulfilled life with cystic fibrosis was possible. I decided that, one day, I would write
a book that might help others through this time of doubt and fear. Two years ago, the strong desire to actually go through the process of writing a book grabbed ahold of me.
Writing this book and sharing my story was a very intuitive and healing process. I have always loved writing and -- while doing so -- it felt like the words were just pouring out of me and onto the page. My book is not only about life with CF, but a travel
tale about the people I met along the way, the inspiration I found, and the journey to oneself. I also write about the personal and emotional difficulties that can go along with CF life and how I dealt with -- and am still dealing with -- them.
I want to reach and inspire those who believe they have been disadvantaged in life by certain impairments, such as a chronic illness. I want to show that it is from our greatest challenges in life where we draw the most strength.
Author, The New York Times Modern Love essay: "Face It, Mom and Dad: I'm Not Special"
Raised on self-help books, I thought anything was possible. Then, at the age of 28, I was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis and I was told that my life would be shortened. Being a CF patient who was diagnosed as an adult was a unique experience. I felt simultaneously
sad, angry and guilty -- sad to be sick, angry that it took years to get a diagnosis, and guilty because I knew I had a milder form of CF than most people. The hardest part by far, though, was sharing these feelings with my parents, who are unbridled
optimists. Although I craved permission to feel sad, they insisted I look on the bright side.
I decided to share the story of my family's struggle to talk about CF because I knew I wasn't alone, and I wanted others to feel less alone, too. I've met so many people with CF and other chronic illnesses who are told by others that positive thinking
will solve their problems. Though it comes from love and good intentions, this brand of forced optimism sometimes makes us feel worse, as if we're letting our friends and family down whenever we feel anything besides hope.
Here's what CF taught me: One of the most powerful expressions of hope is simply being present with the people we love, without offering advice or encouragement or trying to fix the situation.
YouTube Original Documentary,
Claire Wineland spent her 21 years battling cystic fibrosis. Although she spent thousands of hours in hospitals and underwent multiple surgeries, that is not what defined her. Claire inspired the world to find purpose in the face of adversity.
Although Claire died last year, her legacy and story live on through her documentary, which shares her CF story through interviews and footage. In her own words, Claire shares her brave journey of facing unimaginable circumstances at a young age and how
she became an advocate and activist for those living with terminal illness.
Submission from Claire's charity, the Claire's Place Foundation
Podcast, “Journeys with Jennifer Griego”
I started my podcast in March 2019. Honestly, it wasn't my idea. My friends and family told me I should do a podcast soon after I started to share my story publicly. After thinking about it more, I talked to a close friend of mine, Jay Scott, who also
has a podcast. He helped me get all the equipment, taught me how to edit, and showed me the ropes. But, before all this, I had to figure out what to call my podcast and what it would be about. I chose Journeys with Jennifer Griego, because I wanted
to talk to others about their journeys and that title seemed like a natural fit.
Since I started my podcast, I have learned so much and met so many wonderful people, including “Five Feet Apart” actress Haley Lu Richardson. I am so thankful to my friends and family who encouraged me to share my story and create a platform to hear others.
This was something I never thought that I would do, but I have learned so much and have grown by doing it. I love talking to new people and hearing each unique story.
Author, "The CF Warrior Project: 65 Stories of Triumph Against Cystic Fibrosis"
All my life I've been searching for hope because I have been living with a disease with such a low median life expectancy. I began to realize that others with cystic fibrosis felt the same way. I started learning about inspirational stories through word-of-mouth,
social media posts, and newspaper articles. I decided that it was a good time to interview these “CF warriors” and teach others what I've learned -- that life isn't about the hand you're dealt, but rather how you play that hand.
My book was published in May 2019 to celebrate CF awareness month. Stories include people of every age group beginning with teenagers and concluding with people in their seventies. There are 65 stories in honor of the 65 Roses story -- ranging from a
man attempting to climb Mount Everest, to a girl working on getting access to a breakthrough drug in her country, to a hall-of-fame triathlete. The stories are incredibly inspiring.
Author, "Salt in My Soul: An Unfinished Life"
Diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at the age of 3, my daughter Mallory Smith led an incredible life despite her disease. She was a three-sport varsity athlete, prom queen, and straight-A student in high school, and then went on to Stanford, graduating Phi
Beta Kappa. During her lifetime she had 67 hospitalizations, ranging from weeks to months.
Mallory would write: “I am limited in what I can do, but not in what I can say.” As her body deteriorated, she sharpened her mind, crystalized her thinking, and honed her writing skills, which led to her uncanny ability to create poetry out of prosaic
For more than 10 years, Mallory recorded her thoughts and observations about her struggles with CF and feelings too personal to share during her life, leaving instructions for me to publish her work posthumously.
What emerges is a powerful story of a coming of age. Mallory wrote about what so many young people experience: wanting to fit in; wondering if anyone will love her; feeling insecure about her looks; grappling with breaking away from her parents and being
independent; wondering what the future will look like. In doing so, she teaches us about resilience, discipline, inspiration, and perspective.
Despite the tragic ending, readers are left with hope -- in part because, to our knowledge, Mallory was the first patient in the U.S. with CF to receive phage therapy, an experimental treatment to attack superbugs like Pseudomonas and B. cepacia.
Submission from Mallory's mom, Diane.
Community Engagement Specialist, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Hannah is a community engagement specialist at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. In her role, Hannah engages with the CF community to develop content to support the Foundation's programs and manages the editorial calendar for the CF Community Blog. She has a bachelor's degree in public relations with minors in professional writing and business leadership from Virginia Tech. Outside of work, Hannah enjoys trail running, reading with a cup of coffee, and spending time with her family.
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This site contains general information about cystic fibrosis, as well as personal insight from the CF community. Opinions and experiences shared by members of our community, including but not limited to people with CF and their families, belong solely to the blog post author and do not represent those of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, unless explicitly stated. In addition, the site is not intended as a substitute for treatment advice from a medical professional. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your treatment.
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