Archives for May 2011

Cystic Fibrosis: History

May is Cystic Fibrosis Awareness month! Since I didn’t know anything about CF before I met Jesse, I’m taking some time to learn and share some information about CF.

Even though cystic fibrosis wasn’t officially recognized until the late 1930s, people recognized signs of it all the way back in the 18th century. Literature warned “Woe is the child who tastes salty from a kiss on the brow, for he is cursed, and soon must die.” I find it amazing that even though they didn’t know why, they still made the connection that something was wrong. It makes me wonder how many undiagnosed CFers there are in Jesse’s family history.

Fortunately, Jesse was diagnosed at birth so he has had the benefits of treatments his whole life. There are over 1,000 different mutations of CF that cause variations in symptoms and severity of symptoms. Jesse has the most common mutation, ΔF508/ΔF508. Since about 70% of CFers have this particular mutation, hopefully a cure will soon be found to correct this mutation.

It’s pretty scary to think about how “new” this disease is:


National Library of Medicine photo of Dorothy Hansine Andersen. Andersen first described cystic fibrosis in 1938

  • 1938 – Dorothy Andersen, M.D. writes the first comprehensive medical report on cystic fibrosis (CF).
  • 1953 – During a heat wave in New York City, Dr. Paul di Sant’Agnese and others connect the extra loss of salt by people with CF to the disease’s underlying problem.
  • 1962 – The CF predicted median survival age is 10 years.
  • 1989 – A team of Cystic Fibrosis Foundation-supported scientists discover the defective CF gene and its protein product (CFTR) thus opening the door to understanding the disease at its most basic level.
  • 1990 – CF researchers achieve “proof of concept” that gene therapy (in the lab dish) is possible.
  • 1993 – Landmark gene therapy trial begins in people with CF.
  • 2000 – Scientists supported by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation map the entire genetic structure of the most common cause of CF lung infections-the Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacterium. Researchers can identify the function of specific genes and find ways (drugs) to turn off the bad ones.
  • 2008 – The Foundation and Vertex Pharmaceuticals achieve a “proof of concept,” showing that it is possible to treat the root cause of CF. During Phase 2 studies of VX-770, trial participants, all of whom carry the G551D mutation of CF, show unprecedented improvements in key signs of the disease.
  • 2010 – Approximately 30 potential therapies are in the Foundation’s drug discovery and development pipeline. The more drugs in the pipeline, the greater the odds of producing successful therapies and a cure for CF.

Grocery Deals

I scored some great deals on grocery items this week. I’ve noticed that stores seem to have the best deals at the very beginning of the month. So I tend to spend the majority of the grocery budget during the first couple weeks of the month, when things are on sale, and then we are pretty well set for the second half of the month (except for more produce).

I stocked up on canned tomatoes which were BOGO. I bought lots of the steam-in-the-bag frozen vegetables since they were on sale for $1.00 each. And I even bought Jesse more of his favorite snack, Oreo Cakesters, on sale 2 for $5.00. I was a little worried about how much the bill was going to be by the end of the store as I found more and more deals. But I came in well under budget even with all the fresh produce, meat, and cleaning supplies I needed.

Here are some of my bargains:


Cereal was on sale for BOGO, plus I had a coupon for $1.50 off three cereals. Regular price… $4.09 per box, my price… $1.67 per box! Jesse goes through these big boxes pretty quickly, so I refuse to ever pay regular price for them.


This yogurt was on sale for $1.00 each, plus I had a coupon for $1.00 off. Regular price… $1.50 each, my price… FREE! I’ve been wanting to try this yogurt for a while because I’ve heard it’s really yummy, but I’m not usually a big yogurt fan. I figured I can’t go wrong to try it for free.


Ham was on sale for $2.50 each, plus I had a coupon for $0.75 off. Regular price… $3.69 each, my price… $1.75. This ham is really good and one of the only lunch meats I’ve found that I’m able to eat. It’s more expensive because it’s all natural, but I always buy it when it’s on sale.


Deodorant was on sale for BOGO, plus I had a coupon for $0.50 off. Regular price… $3.49 each, my price… $1.49 each. I wasn’t out of deodorant yet, but this was such a good deal. I’ll be set for a while now!


These were also on sale for BOGO, plus I had a coupon for $2.50 off two boxes. Regular price… $4.29 each, my price… $0.89 each. I think that was my best deal out of the bunch.


Lastly, Windex was on sale for BOGO, plus I had a coupon for $1.00 off two bottles. Regular price… $3.39 each, my price… $1.19 each.

Thanks for sitting through my grocery store commercial, I just had to share how much I saved. You may now return to your regularly scheduled day. 😉

Cystic Fibrosis Awareness

May is Cystic Fibrosis Awareness month!  Since I didn’t know anything about CF before I met Jesse, I thought I would share some important information.

What Is Cystic Fibrosis?

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has lots of information explaining what CF is and how it is passed down:

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide). A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that:

  • clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections; and
  • obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food.

Wikipedia is also an easy source for more information:

Cystic fibrosis is a disease which affects the entire body. The name cystic fibrosis refers to the characteristic scarring (fibrosis) and cyst formation within the pancreas, first recognized in the 1930s. Difficulty breathing is the most serious symptom and results from frequent lung infections that are treated with, though not cured by, antibiotics and other medications. A multitude of other symptoms, including sinus infections, poor growth, diarrhea, and infertility result from the effects of CF on other parts of the body.

CF is caused by a mutation in the gene for the protein cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR). This gene is required to regulate the components of sweat, digestive juices, and mucus. Although most people without CF have two working copies of the CFTR gene, only one is needed to prevent cystic fibrosis. CF develops when neither gene works normally. Therefore, CF is considered an autosomal recessive disease.

CF bandsJesse and I are raising both awareness about cystic fibrosis and money to donate to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation by selling purple CF bands.  If you haven’t bought yours yet, be sure to get one to show your support!

I’ll share more about CF over the next couple of weeks.  Or you can check out the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to learn about the work and advancements being made towards finally finding a cure for CF.