Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disease affecting approximately
30,000 children and adults in the United States. It is a cruel and deadly disease affecting the respiratory system, digestive
system, endocrine system, and reproductive system. A defective gene causes the body to produce an abnormally thick, sticky
mucus that clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections. These thick secretions also obstruct the pancreas,
preventing digestive enzymes from reaching the intestines to help break down and absorb food.
CF occurs in approximately
one of every 3,200 live Caucasian births (in one of every 3,900 live births of all Americans). About 1,000 new cases of CF
are diagnosed each year. The median age of survival for a person with
CF is 33.4 years.
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