Bonney Lake Sumner Courier Herald | Daniel Nash
The genetic disorder, simply put, causes the unending production of mucus. The onslaught causes deadly health problems as the body tries and fails to eliminate the excess.
"Everybody's different" in their symptoms, Harrington said. "I wasn't supposed to be able to have kids—I have two now—breathing becomes difficult, and you can get an enlarged liver, which was the cause of my digestive problems as a baby.
"Some people with this disease have way more digestive problems, but I was on a feeding tube for four years. Toward the end, I actually got sick of it; I preferred not eating to being connected to the tube all the time."
Life expectancy for children with cystic fibrosis hovered around six-years-old at the time of Harrington's birth, but in an odd way she was lucky. Medical treatments advanced over the course of her lifetime. By the time she was six-years-old, life expectancy had reached 12-years-old; at 12, it was 18, with some patients making it to age 30. Medication became more efficient: the number of pills required to treat her pancreas, for example, was whittled down from 20 to four.