As you may have seen recently on our Instagram story, I introduced everyone to one of my best friends, Jack, who has Cystic Fibrosis. We wanted to create some awareness about this condition, so we decided to do a live Q&A. For those who missed it, here's some frequently asked questions about CF and ways to help those who are affected by it.
WHAT IS CYSTIC FIBROSIS?
"Cystic fibrosis affects the airways, lungs, endocrine system by causing an abnormal build-up of thick and sticky mucus. Treatment requires intensive daily physiotherapy to clear the lungs and airways, countless medications and frequent
hospitalisations." - Cystic Fibrosis Queensland
HOW DO YOU GET CF?
"Cystic fibrosis is a recessive genetic condition, which means that people are born with it. It occurs equally in males and females.To have a child with cystic fibrosis, both parents must be a carrier of the cystic fibrosis gene change." - Cystic Fibrosis Queensland
IS CF CONTAGIOUS?
"Cystic Fibrosis is not contagious. However, everyone with CF have different types of bugs that must not be cross contaminated. This means that multiple people with CF cannot be in the same vicinity." - Jack
HOW DO YOU TREAT CF?
"Everyone is treated differently but in my case I have to go into hospital for 'tune ups' 2-3 times per year. I go through a lot of IV antibiotics which help treat infections and break down bacteria. I also see the physiotherapist twice a day to do airway clearance and exercises. The exercise gets my lungs to work really hard to keep them strong and healthy. On a daily basis, I have nebulisers morning and night along with plenty of tablets throughout the day that help be digest food and fight bacteria. I also have to do physiotherapy at home to clear my airways."
CAN YOU CURE CF COMPLETELY?
"There isn't currently a cure for CF but with increased funding and research, the average life expectancy has been extended from 18 years old to 47 years old." - Jack
DOES CF STOP YOU FROM DOING ANYTHING 'NORMAL'?
"I don't allow CF to stop me from doing anything. I may be a little more exhausted or out of breath than others doing physical activities but I am still able to do everything just like a regular person." Jack
DOES CF MAKE MEN INFERTILE?
"Yes, 98% of men with CF are infertile but there are ways around this." - Jack
ANY ADVICE FOR OTHERS WITH CF?
"It sounds blunt but 'get on with it'. Don't let yourself overthink things and certainly don't stop yourself from doing anything just because you have a condition." - Jack
ANY ADVICE FOR FRIENDS/FAMILY OF THOSE WITH CF?
"Continue to encourage the people with CF. Include them, be patient with them and don't give up on them. It can be really tough mentally and physically to keep up with others and to not overthink too much. Just be there for them and allow them to talk openly about their feelings - it can be tough sometimes." - Jack
To donate or for more information, head to www.cysticfibrosis.org.au
Cystic Fibrosis Queensland - www.cysticfibrosis.org.au
Claire Wineland - Claire Wineland Youtube
'Five Feet Apart' (2019) - Movie about CF