Did you know that approximately 1 in 3,300 Caucasian children in the U.S. have Cystic Fibrosis? CF is a common genetic condition in individuals of Caucasian and Hispanic ancestry. It is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system. A defective gene causes the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that can lead to lung infections or a blockage in the pancreas, which stops the natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food. Although there is no cure for CF, advances in research and medical treatments have extended life for individuals with CF.
In July 2008, Desert Perinatal was directly impacted by CF when a staff member (Misty Thomas) gave birth to Mckenna, who was diagnosed with CF at only 2 months old. The CF Panel was added to the Nevada PKU in May of 2008, making it possible to diagnose Mckenna much earlier than the previous age of 4-5. Earlier detection means earlier treatment and a better quality of life. Daily treatment includes Airway Clearance Vest Therapy twice daily with nebulizer treatments, as well as enzymes taken with every meal to help with digestion of meals. At night, a feeding tube helps her receive an 8 hour feed of a special pre-digested formula.
Currently, there is no government funding provided for the CF Foundation, so those affected rely on others to donate in order to further research. How can you help? Join the Desert Perinatal staff in the Great Strides Walk on Saturday, April 9, 2011! If you can’t come and walk with us, donate to the team!
To find Misty’s team (Mckenna’s Mob), go to: Mckenna’s Mob