MARTINA, 19, has cystic fibrosis, which affects your lungs.
I was six weeks old when I was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, and four when I was diagnosed with epilepsy. I’ve since developed diabetes, gastroparesis, eye problems, kidney stones, chronic pain syndrome, severe reflux, osteoporosis, and pancreatic insufficiency. CF means I feel like I’m always breathing through a straw, and that affects my ability to walk long distances, shower, climb stairs and play sports. I do three hours of treatments and take 50-odd medications every day. I’ve had good teachers and
I’ve got good friends, but it’s hard to find a job because I spend a lot of time in hospital and have to take lots of sick days. I’ve been lucky with medical help, but people don’t realise how serious CF is – they think a lung transplant will ‘cure’ me. My advice to friends of people suffering is to stay strong – it’s hard to see the light when you’re so ill. I hope CF will one day stand for ‘Cure Found’.