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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 June 2007, 05:50 GMT 06:50 UK
Living with cystic fibrosis
Adam McCusker
Adam McCusker may have to go on the lung transplant list in the future
As part of our series into chronic conditions across Wales, the BBC news website profiles life with cystic fibrosis (CF).

CF is the UK's most common life-threatening inherited disease and it affects vital organs, making breathing and digestion difficult.

Adam McCusker, 25, from Ammanford, was diagnosed when he was four years old.

"All my life, I have been taking tablets every time I eat as I can't digest my food properly," he said.

"And I have nebulisers to help me breathe and physiotherapy treatments.

"As I am getting older, the tablets are getting onto higher doses, as the condition gets worse and I am on more tablets for my back and for my liver.

"CF affects different people in different ways. I know what I am going to get like - who my body will be affected in the future. I have to prepare myself for it - it is part of life.

"At the minute, I am healthy, my lung functions are up. If that drops, I will go on the transplant list - I know it (decline) is coming but I don't know when.

Adam McCusker
Adam McCusker said friends and family were a great help

"And I have diabetes to look forward to - I take it each day as it comes.

"I try to live a full life. I have learned to deal with it."

Mr Cusker said that when he was younger, he was the only one in his school with the condition, which led to some difficulties.

"Others would look at me and I got picked on. But, it has made me a stronger person," he said.

"When I explained what it was to people, they were supportive and they are still mates now.

I wish I could play football and sports, but I do all the other things my mates do. I do drink, but I have to watch it
Adam McCusker

"There is always a small minority who weren't, but you just ignore them."

He said his teachers were very understanding and helped him catch up with schoolwork, but there are some things he missed out on.

"I wish I could play football and sports, but I do all the other things my mates do. I do drink, but I have to watch it."

He added that he had had "a hell of a lot of help" with dealing with CF.

"My mates help me out and my girlfriend and my parents - there are lots of people supporting me.

"I have been with Stacey for five years - I met her in a nightclub in Swansea. I was upfront about CF and she went on the internet and checked up on it and she's still here five years later!"

And he said he did his bit to pass on support to other people

"I go on [internet] forums a lot and talk to mates in hospital. I try and help other people as much as I can. A lot of people have gone through hell."


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