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All About Cystic Fibrosis By Victoria Wahlers

Cystic Fibrosis, or CF, is a genetic disease that affects an individual’s lungs and other organs, limiting their ability to breathe, due to excess mucus blocking airways in the lungs. To inherit the disease, both parents must be a carrier of the defective gene. To know if someone is a carrier, they can take a genetic test where they evaluate the cells in one’s DNA. When being related to someone with CF, some symptoms to be aware of are very salty skin, shortness of breath, poor growth, or weight gain. The severity of symptoms varies differently in each person with CF. Daily, someone with CF will use airway clearance machines a few times a day to loosen and clear mucus. Some may have fitness plans, antibiotics, and supplements to take throughout the day. Cystic Fibrosis goes unnoticed, and it definitely shouldn’t. There are many ways to help with this disease, even here in Lakeland.

Lakeland hosts a CF walk annually at Munn Park. The event begins around 8:00 am on the first Saturday in May. This year, the walk was on May 4. The event was open to all and many groups attended and set up booths. Hadley Wieser, a student here at Lake Gibson has a six-year-old brother named Charley who faces the struggles of having CF. Wieser stated, “I want people to know that the health of each person with CF is different, but that doesn’t make them any different than the rest of us even when they face the struggles of having it.” Despite currently not having a cure, everyone can make an impact by attending the walks and other events about CF. Cystic Fibrosis shouldn’t be overlooked, so spread awareness to the disease by attending the next CF walk here in Lakeland.