Carter was born in January 2006. For the first year, we thought our son was perfectly healthy. Soon, we started to notice that he was not growing as quickly as other children his age, and he had a crazy appetite! He could eat as much as us, and then be hungry again! He had developed bowel issues, and frequent stomach pains. After several doctor appointments, we were sent to a pediatrician who told us that Carter was in the "failure to thrive" category as far as his growth. She ordered many tests for him. Several weeks later...when Carter was just over a year and a half, we got the phone call to say that our son had tested positive for Cystic Fibrosis. We had heard of the disease, but had no understanding of what it was. We were devastated to say the least, as we quickly discovered what having CF would mean for our son. (What is Cystic Fibrosis?)
When Carter is healthy, he receives almost an hour of inhaled medications, and physiotherapy every morning when he wakes up. This helps to loosen the thick mucus that can clog his lungs, and lead to life-threatening infections. These treatments are repeated again before bedtime. (When he is sick, his treatments are repeated 4-6 times/day, making for a very demanding schedule with not much time for play.) His diet consists of high calorie, high fat, high salt foods to help maintain a healthy weight and growth pattern. He swallows pills with his food to help him digest it properly. It is normal for him to take between 15-17 pills each day, plus a multitude of extra vitamins, and antibiotics. He visits his team of CF specialists in Edmonton every three months for a checkup, and also goes there every time that he is having trouble fighting a cold.
Carter is now 4 years old. He has adjusted better than we could have imagined. We have hope that a cure or effective control for CF will be found in our son's lifetime. Won't you please join us in the fight to support CF research and make sure that happens?