Teaching Others About Cystic Fibrosis

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By Matthew Searcy

WSIL -- The month of May recognizes Cystic Fibrosis, a disease many have heard of, but few know much about. CF specialists say it impacts more than 100,000 people in the United States, including one Woodlawn family.

"When you look at her, she looks just like a normal child, but she's really sick," said Brooke Champman whose daughter suffers from Cystic Fibrosis.
 
9-year-old Jordyn Chapman was first diagnosed with the disease when she was just a baby.
 
"She got pneumonia and was put in the hospital. Her pediatrician had her tested and she came back positive," Chapman explained. 
 
The third grader from Woodlawn is one of only 30,000 children in the Untied States who have cystic fibrosis. The potentially fatal disease is caused by a defective gene which produces a thick mucus that the body is unable to break down.  
 
Chapman explains, "We can spit our mucus out when we get something caught in our throat, but she cannot."
     
Her condition requires several two-week long hospital visits every year and around-the-clock care. 
 
"At first it can be very overwhelming for a family," explained Chapman. "You have to get into a routine." 
 
Jordyn uses a breathing machine twice a day to clear her airways and takes more than a dozen different medicines. Even with the treatment, her lifestyle is limited.  
 
"If she played basketball or soccer, I don't think be able to play because it's too much running."
 
Despite the adversity facing Jordyn, she remains optimistic. 
 
"I have to do it, so I don't fight anymore," said Jordyn. "I'm used to it. I'm not scared anymore."  
 
Chapman wants others to know about CF and hopefully help find a cure for her daughter and those with the disease. 
     
"We do benefits to raise money for the cystic fibrosis foundation, and we try to get the local community involved," she said.  
 
About 1,000 new cases of Cystic fibrosis are diagnosed each year. 
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