The first cases of cystic fibrosis appeared in 3000 BC; migrations of peoples, genetic mutations and new feeding conditions could have been the causes of its diffusion. An ancient German proverb – dated around XVII century – states: “The child will soon die whose brow tastes salty when kissed”. In ancient times in Northern Europe, during the purification ceremonies, it was usual to kiss the foreheads of newborns and children; in the event that a salty taste was perceived, the child was labelled as ‘bewitched’ and sadly destined to an early death. It is due to this characteristic of particularly salty sweat which cystic fibrosis was often referred to as “the disease of the salty kiss”.
The current term ‘cystic fibrosis’ only appeared in 1938, when Dorothy Andersen, a pediatrician and pathologist at Columbia University in New York, provided the first description of the disorder, based on her autopsy findings of children that died of malnutrition. Only at a later stage, it was demonstrated that cystic fibrosis is an inherited genetic disease that affects several vital organs (not only pancreas and sweat glands), such as the lungs and digestive system, by clogging them with thick, stick mucus. The ongoing loss of lung function due to repeated airway infection and lung tissue damage is the major contributor to worsening health and early death.
In the UK, the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is the most common life-threatening inherited disease and affects over 10,000 babies, children and young adults*; unfortunately there is no known cure for CF at present.
The Cystic Fibrosis Trust is the only UK-wide charity dedicated to fighting for a life unlimited by CF for everyone affected by the condition**. The Cystic Fibrosis Trust, which has a local branch in the Isle of Man, funds medical and scientific research aimed at understanding, treating and curing CF; it provides direct financial, practical and emotional support to families and individuals.
Abacus Director, Paul Watterson said: “The Cystic Fibrosis Trust IOM is a worthy charity that ensures that local people with CF receive the best possible care and support in all aspects of their lives. We are delighted to have been able to support such a worthwhile cause by offering help for their ongoing hard work, which relies on donations and fundraising.”
Whether it’s a one-off donation or a regular gift, everyone can help the Cystic Fibrosis Trust IOM aid local people with cystic fibrosis and their families. The money raised will help them continue their research, campaigning and support, making a difference to so many lives. Visit www.cysticfibrosis.org.uk to find out more.
** source: www.cysticfibrosis.org.uk