Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford
Eighteen-year-old Tiffany Senter is discussing her good friend, Emma Greene, also 18, with whom she certainly has much in common. Both California natives are five feet tall; both graduated high school this summer with perfect GPAs; both have spent hours each day—for years on end—gulping down dozens of pills and relying on machines to help them breathe. And both received recent calls that gave them a new chance at life.
Emma and Tiffany suffer from Cystic Fibrosis (CF), a life-shortening congenital disease that renders the body unable to regulate salt transport in and out of cells. Over time, CF leads to destruction of the lungs. It also affects digestion, preventing the body from breaking down and absorbing food.
"Imagine trying to breathe through a straw," describes Carol Conrad, MD, director pediatric pulmonary medicine at Packard Children’s. “Mucus has clogged up the airways and the work required to get even a small breath is painfully high."