So what does CF have to do with surfing? Quite a bit, it turns out.
Just a few years ago, there were some CF doctors here in Australia who noticed there was a group of their patients who seemed to be doing better than others. They tried to figure out what the patients had in common and finally had their answer.
“These kids all surfed,” said Michael Shumard, executive director of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. “They did their research and found that when they were out there on the water, they’d breath in that misty, salty air, and it lubricated their lungs.”
Breathing clearly is a big problem with CF, and when the kids would come in from a surf, they could more easily clear the mucus, and it settled their airways. The findings resulted in the development of what’s called “hypertonic saline” treatments, which mimic breathing in that salty air.
And that’s great, but surely these kids would rather get on a board than suck on an inhaler.