Leading an Active Life with Cystic Fibrosis
Born with CF, Zoey Dula spent her early years sick and in and out of hospitals. Decades ago, children like Zoey might not live to see their first birthday. Today, thanks to a new medication called Trikafta, a CF modulars, Zoey is prepared to lead an active and full life. Unlike other treatments, these new drugs target the root cause of CF, not just the symptoms. People with CF are now routinely living into adulthood. “She can be anything she wants to be,” said Mai ElMallah, MD, Zoey’s pediatric pulmonologist at Duke Health.
What are CFTR Modulators?
People with cystic fibrosis (CF) can live longer, better-quality lives thanks to new treatments called CFTR modulators. These medications target gene mutations present in CF and can significantly minimize symptoms and reduce complications. When started early, they can even eliminate some of the worst effects of CF. Here, Mai ElMallah, MD, a pediatric pulmonologist at Duke Health, discusses CFTR modulators, how they work, and who can benefit.
Second Double Lung Transplant with Cystic Fibrosis
Since Sara Kominsky was a child, she faced difficulties common to people with CF but described herself as “reasonably healthy” until she was in her early 40s. “At that point,” said Kominsky, “my lungs declined, and I couldn't do what I wanted to do.” Her doctors told her that she needed lung transplant surgery, and quickly. Today, after not one -- but two -- double lung transplant surgeries at Duke Health, she is competing in endurance events, writing fiction, making travel plans, and enjoying every minute of her new life.