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.
Even though I've been vaccinated against COVID-19, I've been using a risk assessment tool to try to make sure that I'm still being as safe as possible.
June 24, 2021
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The last year has been crazy. I am a high school/dual credit college math teacher with cystic fibrosis, and I have been teaching for 27 years. When COVID-19 arrived in Mississippi last March, it all came crashing down. My school closed for spring break
on March 6, and we did not return during the 2019-2020 school year.
Although Mississippi was one of the few states that pushed families to do in-person learning, most public-school districts did allow students the option of doing school at home. My employer graciously allowed me to teach from home last year. I am forever
grateful that I was given this opportunity.
In January, when the first vaccine became available, I was one of the first in Mississippi to receive it. Soon after, my wife, Jana, was also able to be vaccinated. In early April, our oldest son, John, was granted access and was vaccinated, followed
by our 15-year-old twins, Justin, and Elizabeth, last week.
Now that everyone in my immediate family has had at least one dose of the vaccine, our world will begin to look a little different than it has for the last 15 months.
We are still going to be very cautious about the places that we go and the events that we attend. However, a life that appears to be a little more normal will do us all good. But how much normal is safe?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recently said that people who have been fully vaccinated are OK to resume life without masks or distancing with little to no fear of catching the virus. While that is great news for most Americans, my
family will still need to be very cautious in all that we do because of my CF.
One thing that is helping guide our cautious approach is a COVID-19 risk assessment tool that the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation created, which helps patients and their families evaluate the risk from in-person events. The tool is easy to use. You plot activities on a grid according to your risk of exposure to COVID-19, which depends on your
vaccination status, how far you are from others, and how long you are in contact with others.
The activities and decisions plotted here represent Brad’s personal risk assessment.
As I look at this assessment tool, I am able to evaluate most things that our family participates in outside our home now that we have been vaccinated. I now see events that I would have viewed as high-risk as much lower-risk. I'll give you a few examples.
Last fall, in-person learning would have been placed as high-risk for both type and length of contact. This fall, I expect my employer to pull the option of at-home learning for students and that our school district will no longer afford me the opportunity
to teach from home. While I initially thought at-home learning would be our only safe option moving forward, we have seen that most transmissions do not occur at school. I now believe I would place in-person learning and teaching in the lines of low/medium
on length of contact and low on the type of contact using the risk-assessment tool.
Other things that feel less risky are having our kids play with neighborhood friends outside, riding my e-bike, or going on an outdoor hunt with extended family. Going to the store and being seen by my local CF team no longer seem to be so daunting these
There are other events that still pose a greater risk for our family in my eyes. For example, going to a movie theater on a date with my wife. I am not comfortable with this idea yet. I believe it still holds more risks than I am willing to take at the
moment. Based on the assessment tool, I would still have to label it as high-risk based on type and length of contact. However, I do believe that I would be comfortable with eating indoors at a restaurant because the duration of eating a meal is shorter
than that of watching a movie and we would be sitting farther away from other customers in a restaurant than we would at a movie theater. It's now more of a medium risk for me due to the length of contact and low/medium risk for the type of contact
for me and my spouse.
As we learn more, my family and I can make better decisions as the world around us continues to change.
As a dad with CF, this is where our family is right now, but everyone is different so where you put events on this tool could be different and that's OK.
Interested in sharing your story? The CF Community Blog wants to hear from you.
Adult with CF
Brad was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at birth. A four-time graduate of Mississippi College, he now works at McLaurin Attendance Center where he has been teaching high school and college mathematics for 27 years. Brad also serves on the CF Adult Advisory Council . He lives in Mendenhall, Miss. with his wife, Jana, and children Josh, Justin, and Elyzabeth. Follow him on Facebook.
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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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