May is Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month, and if you’re a long time Kidd’s Kids follower you know that each year we select children who have been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF). Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that causes a buildup of thick mucus in the lungs. This buildup can make it difficult to breathe and to digest food.
Facts About Cystic Fibrosis:
- More than 30,000 people are living with CF in the United States, and approximately 70,000 worldwide.
- In order for a child to develop the disease, both parents need to be carriers of the mutant CF gene.
- There is a one in four chance that a child will have CF if their parents are carriers.
- Three-quarters of CF cases are diagnosed before a child’s second birthday.
- 42 years old is the life expectancy for someone living with CF in the United States.
- Those living with CF are more susceptible to lung infections so they need to be extra careful of germs.
Six Feet Apart: Staying Safe on a Kidd’s Kids Trip
Those with CF need to stay at least six feet apart from others with CF. This is because germs can spread as far as six feet when someone coughs or sneezes – something we are ALL learning these last couple of months since the COVID-19 pandemic began! Being close to others with CF can put people with CF at a greater risk of spreading germs and bacteria, which can lead to worsening symptoms and faster decline in lung function.
The heath and safety of our Kidd’s Kids and their families is our number one priority during our Walt Disney World trips and other Kidd’s Kids functions. In order to help CF Kidd’s Kids stay at a safe distance, they wear a different colored lanyard than other Kidd’s Kids. We also inform families before the trip if there is another child with CF on the same flight. If they are flying on the Southwest Airlines chartered flight, we put them in different boarding groups so they are sitting at opposite ends of the airplane and they are on different ground transportation buses to the hotel. This system has worked very well for our group and helps put those families at ease so they can relax and have FUN…because, after all, that is what Kidd’s Kids is all about!