If you have CF or are close to someone who has CF, you’ll know how tough daily life can be. And it’s even tougher for 30-year-old mum Emmah, who has two young children to care for. But Emmah’s a fighter, she was born that way. Given up for adoption at just a few weeks old because doctors and her birth parents didn’t think she’d survive, Emmah refuses to conform to cystic fibrosis.
She tries to live her life as ‘normal’ as possible but knows it’s hard for a child to comprehend why mummy struggles for breath, or why every day she takes up to 40 tablets and has to undergo physiotherapy.
“It’s not only seeing me go through my treatment,” says Emmah, “It’s all the side effects too. I work so hard to keep things normal for them, but of course there’s nothing normal about what’s going on inside of me. I’m battling on so many fronts”.
CF is a multi-organ disease affecting the lungs, gut, liver, pancreas and reproductive tissues. With a life-span of just 38 years, over 90% of people with CF will die from lung-disease.
CF is known as an ‘invisible disease’ because the battle is being waged on the inside of the body, a battle Emmah knows all too well. “CF causes the production of an abnormal amount of thick, sticky mucus that affects and impairs my lungs, airways and digestive system”, say’s Emmah, “to better understand what I mean, try breathing through a short length of garden hose. It’s restricting and no matter how deeply you try to inhale, you’ll find yourself breathless”.
For most people, breathing like this becomes very uncomfortable, very quickly. For people with CF, this constricted breathing is unrelenting – starting out in childhood and steadily increasing over time, never halting or reversing until it becomes too much.
Although Emmah is managing her symptoms, current treatment is short-lived and can only slow the inevitable destruction of the lung. There is currently no cure. But we’re working on that…
Australian scientists, supported by Cure 4 Cystic Fibrosis are working tirelessly on a cure. The Cystic Fibrosis Airway Research Group are leading the way with their innovative gene transfer approach and addressing the root cause of cystic fibrosis, at a genetic level.
And recently we’ve funded a new Phage Therapy project that aims to support extension of life and could have significant impact for people like Emmah. The Adelaide ENT research team are working on eliminating drug resistant bacteria in CF using bacterial phage.
The key cause of early death of people with CF is the inability to control and eliminate drug resistant, deadly bacteria in the lungs. People with CF develop resistance to this bacteria because of their dependency on antibiotics, which become less effective over time. Once the deadly bacteria have developed a resistance to antibiotics, health declines, and the work required to control the disease increases significantly.
Please will you send a gift to help fund cystic fibrosis research?
With your help a cure could be found and treatment for cystic fibrosis could totally change. Cystic fibrosis could be eliminated and Emmah will no longer have to fight for her future. There’s a lot at stake and we need to move fast.
Cure 4 Cystic Fibrosis Chairman David Coluccio says, “The more funds we have, the more researchers can work on our projects, the faster we can make progress”.
Your donation today means we can continue to support this very important work. $48 buy’s one hour of research.
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is the most common inherited disease affecting the developed world. Give a gift to support a cure.
About half of all people affected by cystic fibrosis will die by their late 30s from lung disease.