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What is Cystic fibrosis?
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease- meaning you are born with it. It causes very bad lung infections (like pneumonia) and sometimes problems with other organs like the liver and sinuses.
In people with CF, a defective gene causes a thick, buildup of mucus in the lungs, pancreas and other organs. In the lungs, the mucus clogs the airways and traps bacteria leading to infections, extensive lung damage and eventually, respiratory failure. In the pancreas, the mucus prevents the release of digestive enzymes that allow the body to break down food and absorb vital nutrients. People with CF can have a variety of symptoms, including:
- Very salty-tasting skin
- Persistent coughing, at times with phlegm
- Frequent lung infections including pneumonia or bronchitis
- Wheezing or shortness of breath
- Poor growth or weight gain in spite of a good appetite (most of us are skinny people).
In my case, lungs, liver and kidney were affected.
I ended up receiving a double (both) lungs and liver transplant (at the same time) for a deceased donor, in May of 2009, I was 27 years old. This happened at the “Cleveland Clinic” in Cleveland, Ohio. I needed to go to a special hospital that specialized in “multiple organ” transplants.
Then, in May 2015, I received a kidney transplant from my husband, Troy. This was a “living donor” transplant, because humans are born with 2 kidneys (almost always) and only need 1 to live a normal life. Troy gave me one of his and he is doing fine with the one he has left. :)