Mandy Kloppers

A cure for CF


cystic fibrosis

A cure for CF

I was diagnosed with CF when I was about two years old. My mother had cystic fibrosis as well and she knew the signs of the illness well. Cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition that affects the body’s ability to control the movement of salt and water between cells.

This causes sticky mucus to build up in the lungs and digestive system.

Sticky mucus in the lungs causes problems with breathing. People with cystic fibrosis are very vulnerable to lung infections.

Currently I am struggling with breathing problems and have had this for two weeks now. I use cognitive behavioural techniques to help me with my thinking but there are days when I find it hard to stay upbeat. I am human after all and dealing with CF on a daily basis does take its toll. I take tablets every day to try maintain my health and worry that every time I catch a cold, I will need to have an intravenous line put into my arm. Most of the time, I just cannot fight off lung infections on my own and need the help of strong intravenous drugs to help me get rid of the infection. Luckily, once the line is put in I pretty much carry in life as normal apart from the times during the day when I need to infuse the medication. Even while that is happening, I can still work or drive. Thankfully modern medicine has come a long way and life can carry on pretty much as normal now whereas before, intravenous drugs meant a minimum stay of two weeks’ in hospital.

Coping with a chronic illness comes with a lot of challenges and I wish constantly that a cure would be found. I have been rejected by potential partners due to my health and it can be tough to overlook that and stay confident about myself at times.

Ultimately, I think it’s all about attitude. I can’t change the fact that I have CF and so my best bet is to watch my attitude. Loving myself, defects and all is a challenging job and a work in progress but it’s the only way forward. If you are struggling with self acceptance, remind yourself of your strengths and do your best to never let others make you feel inferior.

Here’s to being imperfect!!!

Mandy X