Cystic Fibrosis


Cystic fibrosis is a genetically inherited condition that causes an overproduction of mucus in the body. The predominant effects of this are difficulty breathing due to mucus in the lungs and difficulty digesting fats and producing insulin due to mucus in the pancreas. Individuals with cystic fibrosis are at higher risk of infection. Many take antibiotics on a constant basis. Digestion problems are controlled by taking large quantities of digestive enzymes and some cystic fibrosis patients must take insulin for diabetes. Patients’ lungs deteriorate in later stages of cystic fibrosis and patients may require lung transplants. Cystic fibrosis disproportionately affects people of Caucasian descent.

VIA’s focus on cystic fibrosis allowed our participants living with this condition to show and tell about their lives with illness. Since recent medical advances have enabled them to expect nearly normal life spans, young people with cystic fibrosis are just beginning to consider their short- and long-term futures, including college, professional lives, and life relationships.

They demonstrated their medical equipment, described their medication use, spoke of ongoing medical needs, and sometimes graphically showed symptoms of their disease including coughing up blood and prodigious quantities of mucus. They also discussed issues relating to the transition, anticipated or implemented, of their healthcare from a pediatric to adult medical institutions.


Medication show
and tell
>> Watch video

Discussing medical
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A participant shows
how she uses a
>> Watch video

Jay gets a rebate from
his insurance company
>> Watch video

Lisa debates treatment
>> Watch video

Requires Quicktime 7

>> Jay B.
>> Lisa Z.

Core Staff:
Michael Rich
Julie Polvinen
Jennifer Patashnick
Julia Szymczak
Richard Chalfen

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