Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic 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 also obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food.
The disease is life-threatening because it damages the tissues of the lungs; although, the disease requires a daily care, advances in science have enabled most people to live a relatively normal life and work, attend school, and have an overall better quality of life. Many people are also living longer into their 20s and 30s, and some even into their 40s and 50s.
Despite these advances, we need to continue to bring awareness to this disease.
A lovely post worth reading on a mom parenting a child with cystic fibrosis.
1. Mayo Clinic