Wings For Cystic Fibrosis, Inc. (W4CF) is a Non-Profit organization that strives to educate the community and raise awareness to the deadly genetic disease that is Cystic Fibrosis. Cystic Fibrosis does not discriminate, it affects people from birth on into adulthood.
There is not a cure, but there are ways to help those affected "live with" CF. Those methods include costly hospital visits, transplants and medications that are taken daily.
What is Cystic Fibrosis?
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a genetic, life-threatening disease that causes lung infections and over time, causes breathing limitations. Those living with CF experience a build up of heavy mucus within their lungs. This mucus can also block the pancreas which makes it more difficult to digest food.
Nowadays, if Cystic Fibrosis is known to run in the family, doctors can test babies before they are born, by way of amniocentesis or other genetic testing. With this ability, diagnosis of the disease can be detected early. There have been some cases where detection hasn't been made until early teens or adulthood.
Like with most sicknesses and diseases, the affects of Cystic Fibrosis are different for each sufferer; mild for some and severe for others. The good news is that while there still is not a cure for CF, people are living twice as long as before and that is due to receiving treatments as early as possible.
Some known symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis include, but are not limited to:
- Coughing up thick mucus
- Wheezing or shortness of breath
- Having frequent episodes of Sinus Infections, bronchitis or pneumonia
- Polyps in the nose
- Excessive gas, constipation or stomach pain
- Weight loss or failure to gain weight
- Bulky, oily or foul-smelling stool
Examples of treatments for those with Cystic Fibrosis include, but are not limited to:
- Inhaled drugs that are used to thin mucus, clear the lungs and fight infections.
- Ibuprofen helps to fight inflammation and reduce any swelling in their lungs.
- Enzyme Pills for those experiencing issues with their pancreas. This helps them to digest their fats, proteins and vitamins from their food.
- Oxygen therapy is administered for those experiencing severe lung damage.
- Most common is the Postural drainage and percussion (cupping). This allows mucus to drain from the small airways to the large ones and then "cupping" is done to loosen the mucus even more which is then usually expelled through coughing.
- Lung Transplants
Through much testing, the FDA is heavily involved in approving drugs that will help those with CF, the latest being a drug called Orkambi approved in 2015. This medication is said to help those who have two copies of the gene (one from each parent). This drug is aimed to treat the underlying condition and has shown to improve lung function. This drug, however, is a very expensive treatment at a whopping $300,000 a year!!! This is only one reason why we want to help others.