Cystic fibrosis (CF) is the most common, fatal genetic disease affecting young Canadians. CF is a multi-organ disease, primarily affecting the lungs and digestive system. A build-up of thick mucus in the lungs causes severe breathing problems. It may be difficult to clear bacteria from the lungs, leading to cycles of infection and inflammation, which damage the delicate lung tissues.
Thick mucus also blocks the ducts of the pancreas, preventing enzymes from reaching the intestines to digest food. People with CF must consume a large amount of artificial enzymes (average 20 pills a day) with every meal and snack, to help digest and absorb adequate nutrition from food.
More information can be found on the
Cystic Fibrosis Canada website.
For a child friendly explanation of CF, check out this little movie clip: