25 years of breathing through a straw - this is what it's like to live with cystic fibrosis


Luke Doherty has had cystic fibrosis all his life. Now he has a new set of lungs and wants to share his story.

I HAVE BEEN living with cystic fibrosis since birth.

I was diagnosed early as my sister already had cystic fibrosis (CF). One in every 25 people carries the CF gene, with both parents needing to have the faulty gene for the child to have CF. Once both parents have the CF gene, there is a one in four chance that the child will have the illness.

I’ve been lucky enough to receive a pair of transplanted lungs. I wanted to share my story to raise awareness about CF and organ donation.

What is CF?

People see someone that looks healthy and don’t realise that they have a lot of health issues. People with CF get “but you look so healthy” a fair amount, especially in my case as I am a personal trainer.

It’s very much an invisible illness.

Ireland has the highest incidence of CF in the world, with roughly 1,200 adults and children diagnosed with the chronic illness. There are over 70,000 cases worldwide.

CF is a chronic illness which primarily affects the lungs and digestion.

There is a defective gene which causes the body to produce thick and sticky mucus. This mucus builds up and clogs the lungs which lead to infections. It also obstructs the pancreas and its absorption of nutrients. Continue reading
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