This week is Cystic Fibrosis week. CF is a genetic disorder that causes the body to create excess mucus that can build up in the lungs, pancreas and other internal organs. In the lungs, this excess mucus can trap bacteria, which causes infections that can lead to respiratory failure and death.
According to the CF Foundation, 30, 000 people in the U.S. have CF. Our own community is not unaffected by this disease. Amye Dykes, the daughter of Troy and Cindy Dykes, lives a courageous life with CF. Just recently Amye had to spend several weeks in the hospital and at home battling two different drug resistant bacteria that periodically cause infections in her lungs. Amye is an old hat at these “tune-ups” as she calls them. She recently wrote a blog post about her journey with CF. She shared the following about her daily life.
“Everyday, I do a series of lung treatment and vest therapy accompanied by a coughing exercise to clear my lungs of as much mucus as possible. I do 3-4 rounds of breathing treatments a day that include a saline solution to moisten the mucus, a special CF drug that thins the mucus, and an inhaled antibiotic to treat the bacteria that grows in my lungs. I accompany the treatments with vest therapy. I strap a vest on that is attached to a machine that vibrates my body allowing the mucus to loosen making it easier to cough up.” Read more of Amye’s post here.
Everyone’s CF journey is different, as Amye notes earlier in her post. There are varying degrees of CF. Some people are asymptomatic, like Abby Wiegert. Abby’s mom and dad, Emily and Dave Wiegert, work at the high school. Emily says that she knows that they are “really blessed. Yet still, no one can tell us when or if she will present symptoms of CF.” In the mean time, Emily and Dave encourage Abby to participate in gymnastics and other activities she is interested in and pray that she will remain asymptomatic.
CF can be a crippling and deadly disease. While strong, those walking the CF journey need support from their family and community. Amye is grateful to the caring community of teachers who helped and encouraged her throughout her school career. Financial support of the CF Foundation helps support development of new drugs to help CF patients fight their life-threatening symptoms. BCHS HOSA (Health Occupational Services of America) raises money each year during CF awareness week. This year, HOSA is sponsoring a paid dress-down week for faculty at BCHS and a hat day for students. Anyone who wants to make a donation to the CF Foundation can do so through the high school this week.