WHAT IS CYSTIC FIBROSIS?
Cystic Fibrosis is an inherited and chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive systems of about 30,000 children and adults in the Unites States (70,000 worldwide). A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs, leads to life-threatening lung infections, 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.
People with cystic fibrosis suffer from many symptoms, including:
Salty tasting skin
Persistent cough, at times with phlegm
Frequent lung infections
Wheezing and shortness of breath
Poor growth or weight gain in spite of good appetite
Frequent greasy, bulky stools or difficulty with bowel movements
About 1000 new cases of cystic fibrosis are diagnosed each year, with more than 70% of patients diagnosed by age two. More than 45% of the CF population is 18 years or older, and the median survival age is the late 30s.
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has lead the pursuit for a cure since 1955, with the commitment and generosity of supporters. This includes patients, families, friends, clinicians, researchers, volunteers, individual donors, corporations and their staff. The research done by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is making a difference for CF families all over the United States.
In January of 2012, the FDA approved the usage of Ivacaftor, marketed as Kalydeco, for the treatment of patients with CF with certain genes. The research of the CF Foundation and the support from all those who helped fund that research has changed the lives for so many with CF already. Your continued support can help make the use of similar drugs like Kalydeco possible for all patients of CF in the future.