About David Allred
My name is David Allred. I am a native of Asheboro, North Carolina. On September 18th, I will be 30 years old. I was born with Cystic Fibrosis (CF). Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease. That means you are born with it, having inherited the abnormal gene that causes it from your parents. CF is a chronic illness that affects the lungs, pancreas, liver and intestines of about 30,000 Americans . Each year about 1,000 new cases are diagnosed. 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, in turn causing generalized malnutrition. Individuals with cystic fibrosis can be diagnosed before birth by genetic testing or by a sweat test in early childhood. Ultimately, lung transplantation is often necessary as CF worsens. Lung transplantation often becomes necessary for individuals with cystic fibrosis as lung function and exercise tolerance declines. Although single lung transplantation is possible in other diseases, individuals with CF must have both lungs replaced because the remaining lung might contain bacteria that could infect the transplanted lung.
In the 1950s, few children with CF lived to attend elementary school. Today, advances in research and medical treatment have further enhanced and extended life for children and adults with CF. Many people with this disease can now expect to live into their 30s, 40s, and beyond. I have had a young cousin and several friends I have met over the years, die from Cystic Fibrosis.