MARTINA, 19, has cys­tic fi­bro­sis, which af­fects your lungs.

Girlfriend - - GF FEATURES -

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’.

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