There is a multitude of organizations working to support the cystic fibrosis community, as well as a variety of tools and information available to help people with CF not just live, but thrive.
People with cystic fibrosis are living longer and more productive lives than ever before, and they are overcoming many of the life challenges previously presented by the disease. Cross-contamination still is a real threat, however, which means people with CF cannot be in proximity to each other.
Decades ago, doctors advised parents of children with cystic fibrosis to avoid vigorous play and exercise for their kids, under the assumption that they were too sick to engage in the same activities as other children.
An important factor for staying healthy with cystic fibrosis is good nutrition. Thick mucus often gets in the way of proper digestion, causing malabsorption of nutrients. This problem is treated with pancreatic enzyme supplements, vitamins and a high-calorie, high-fat diet.
In the mid-1950s, most children did not live to attend elementary school. Today, the predicted median age of survival is in the late-30s, thanks in large part to the care provided though the national network of CF care centers accredited by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Today, there are more than 30 potential drugs in development for the treatment of cystic fibrosis. These new therapies can only be made available to the people who need them after they are tested by individuals with CF in a series of clinical trials.
There are a number of programs available to help people with cystic fibrosis afford the medical care and drugs they need. Many people don't realize that they qualify for these assistance programs.