Erin, a lovely friend of mine, invited me to do photos for a special project. It's more than a special project actually. She is working on promotional materials for the local chapter of Cystic Fibrosis Canada. Her vision is a series of images that demonstrate life and living with CF, and so, she invited me to capture photos of the two sides of CF. The realities of it and the medical routines and care that are a part of life with CF. And, to capture life - the moments of laughter, dancing, family and friendship that flourish despite CF. And, because Erin is a one-of-a-kind gal, the first person to be photographed - to represent CF - to open their life to me, and in turn the rest of the community - was her. I am honoured to have been asked to be a part of this special project. We had so much fun! I will admit that I was bribed with promises of cheese and wine - but I happily would have been a part of it without the bribe! You can be a part of it too. Visit Cystic Fibrosis Canada and give your donation today. I promise, it makes a difference. When Erin was born, her life expectancy was 17. This month, her birthday cake had 34 candles on it. Nothing quite says it better than that.
Thank you my friend! I will take your photo any day!
More! After receiving such an incredible response to this post, Erin and I were chatting and we thought sharing more information about this was important. Please take a moment to read below - from Erin.
The chest apparatus is my I.V., attached to a port-a-cath (kind of like a rubber stopper, in my artery). I had my first 'port' inserted into my chest, at the age of 19. Years of hospital admissions and IV's, resulted in brutal and hard to find veins. The last time I needed an IV, prior to getting the port, I was poked 17 times (on my hands, arms and feet), before an IV was finally started! Now, I can start my own IV's, whenever necessary, by inserting a needle into the port-a-cath in my chest. Handy, as about 4 1/2 of the past six months, have found me on IV antibiotics!
The tube in my stomach is a gastro-intestinal tube, used to 'feed' myself high fat/protein/calorie/nutrient rich/elemental 'stuff'. It has been proven in CF, that the better our nutritional status is, the better our lung function is. It is the least favourite of any 'treatment' in my life...but, it works... so I can muster a bit of gratitude for it, as well ;o).
The 'pipe' you see (I do smoke, something, lol), is used to deliver antibiotics and into my lungs. Normally, I spend 45mins, twice each day on the 'pipe'! When not well, often another 45min session is added to the mix. It is indeed, good stuff.
There are other treatments involved in daily life, with Cystic Fibrosis. Chest physiotherapy and breathing exercises, finger pokes to monitor blood sugar, insulin injections for some people, lots of medication, exercise and rest.
I recently said (while spending 7-8 hrs/day doing treatment), it's like a full-time job, but without pay! Quickly I adjusted the statement to 'actually with pay'... I get paid in breath and years of life! Guess that's a pretty meaningful job!