On Wednesday morning I watched the Today Show as I was getting ready for work when I heard a news story about Cystic Fibrosis that caught my attention. I recently learned about Cystic Fibrosis in my Cardiopulmonary Pathophysiology class so I was very interested in this report.

I suppose no disease is a good disease, but Cystic Fibrosis is especially heart wrenching. Cystic Fibrosis affects almost all of the exocrine glands. The classic triad of exocrine abnormalities consists of pancreatic insufficiency, chronic pulmonary infections, and an elevated sweat electrolyte concentration.

Cystic Fibrosis is an inherited disease that is autosomal recessive. This means that a person affected by Cystic Fibrosis must have two genes for the disease (one gene given by each parent). Those who only have one gene for cystic fibrosis are called carriers. Carriers show no evidence of the disease and live healthy lives.

The Today Show reported on an 11 year old boy named Colman Chadman, who was kicked out of his new school in California because he was a carrier for Cystic Fibrosis. The school he attended already had a student who was affected by the disease and felt it was unsafe to have the two boys near each other. Although Cystic Fibrosis is not contagious, two people with Cystic Fibrosis may pose a danger to one another through bacteria cross contamination if they are in close contact. However, Chadman does not have Cystic Fibrosis, he is just a carrier. In fact, many of us might be carriers of Cystic Fibrosis and we don’t even know it because we haven’t been tested for it.

I am not a doctor so to say it is totally unfair to kick this young boy out of his new school is not for me to say. However, I did find this story very interesting because we had just learned about this disease in class. I will definitely follow this story to see how it turns out. Seeing what I am learning in class in real life situations is really cool. It assures me that I really am learning something!

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