Can it really happen? Will we really be able to make CF, the abbreviation for cystic fibrosis, stand for “cure found?” I believe we can.
For those of you just stumbling upon this website, my name is Mandy B. Anderson and I was diagnosed with CF when I was six months old. I’m a walking miracle because I’m 30 years old and was not expected to live past the age of grade school. I’ve surpassed many statistics of this disease, and I’m here to encourage you that it’s possible to live beyond your circumstances, even if you’re living with cystic fibrosis. In this video, I share with you some encouraging words as well as information on how you can become a part of saving the lives of those who struggle with this disease on a daily basis.
(The following excerpt was taken from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation website at www.cff.org)
What Is Cystic Fibrosis?
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
- 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.
Symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis
People with CF can have a variety of symptoms, including:
- very salty-tasting skin;
- persistent coughing, at times with phlegm;
- frequent lung infections;
- wheezing or shortness of breath;
- poor growth/weight gain in spite of a good appetite; and
- frequent greasy, bulky stools or difficulty in bowel movements.
- About 1,000 new cases of cystic fibrosis are diagnosed each year.
- More than 70% of patients are diagnosed by age two.
- More than 45% of the CF patient population is age 18 or older.
- The predicted median age of survival for a person with CF is in the late 30s.
Since 1955, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has been the driving force behind the pursuit of a cure. Thanks to the dedication and financial backing of our supporters — patients, families and friends, clinicians, researchers, volunteers, individual donors, corporations and staff, we are making a difference.
Mandy B. Anderson dreamed of becoming a professional singer, despite being born with cystic fibrosis (CF), a disease that severely limited the very breath she needed to sing. Overcoming statistics of an early death, a fire that destroyed her and her husband’s home, and the limits of her own mind, Mandy has become a sought after inspirational speaker, coach, author and singer who has written and produced multiple songs. She currently lives in North Dakota with her husband, Nate and their dog, Ajah.
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