South African Cystic Fibrosis Association

East Rand / Ekurhuleni Johannesburg Pretoria / Tshwane Vaal Triangle / Sedibeng West Rand
All ages

What is Cystic Fibrosis(CF)?

Cystic Fibrosis, (CF) is an inherited genetic disease that affects a number of organs in the body, primarily the lungs and pancreas by clogging them with thick and sticky mucus. Repeated infections and blockages can cause irreversible lung damage and death. Mucus blocks the tiny ducts of the pancreas which supply enzymes required for digestion, and consequently food is not properly digested and nutritional value is lost in the process.

There is no cure for CF and most individuals with cystic fibrosis die young: many in their 20s and 30s from lung failure. However, with the continuous introduction of many new treatments, the life expectancy of a person with CF is increasing to ages as high as 40 or 50 in some CF individuals.

What causes CF?

People are born with Cystic Fibrosis; it is a genetic disorder. CF is caused by a mutation in a gene called the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) which helps create sweat, digestive juices, and mucus. Although most people without CF have two working copies of the CFTR gene, only one gene is needed to prevent cystic fibrosis. CF develops when neither gene works normally. The CFTR gene is therefore a recessive gene and because both men and women can develop cystic fibrosis, CF is known as an autosomal recessive disease. The name cystic fibrosis comes from the characteristic scarring (fibrosis) and cyst formation within the pancreas, first recognized in the 1930s.

How can I help?

There are hundreds of ways to raise funds and the regions rely greatly on the support of the CF community, the public and corporate businesses to help us raise much needed funds. Cystic Fibrosis is a very costly disease and by raising funds the regions can assist by purchasing costly medical equipment to be used at CF clinics as well as pay for support staff, i.e. specialists, doctors, physiotherapists and dieticians who attend CF clinics on an ongoing basis.

The MySchool fundraising card allows you to contribute to a worthy cause and raise funds for us every time you shop at partner stores. For every purchase, the partner shop makes a % contribution to us without it costing you a cent!

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