Chanelle’s Journey with Cystic Fibrosis

Chanelle holding her white dog, Everest, in her living room.

NOVEMBER 23, 2023

Hello, I’m Chanelle, a 25-year-old CF warrior from Cornwall, Ontario. This year, I faced one of the biggest challenges of my life — the removal of my right lung. Despite this, I continue to find joy in creativity and the companionship of my best friend, my dog Everest. As the holiday season approaches, I want to share my story and how we can all contribute to a world without CF. 

Diagnosed with CF at 7, I didn’t fully grasp the gravity of my condition. My childhood suddenly became a series of treatments, doctor’s appointments, and hospital stays. The reality of living with a terminal illness didn’t hit until my health started declining in high school. It was a stark reminder that CF doesn’t discriminate; it can worsen at any time. 

CF has been a journey of “you wouldn’t think it would happen to you until it does.” I had good lung function initially, but over the years, my health deteriorated. Despite the advances in CF research and medicine, I find myself in the minority who cannot benefit from groundbreaking treatments like Trikafta due to it not yet being approved for my specific genetic mutations in Canada.

This holiday season, I dream of more outings and activities, of making happy memories despite the shadow of CF. But my biggest hope is for a future where no one has to face the limitations and uncertainties that come with this disease. 

Imagine a world where we can say we’ve ended cystic fibrosis. For me, it would mean a second chance at a better life. It’s heartbreaking that in Canada, I’m not eligible for Trikafta, a life-saving drug, simply because of my specific mutation. The frustration of being so close yet so far from a potentially life-changing treatment is indescribable. 

To those considering supporting or donating to Cystic Fibrosis Canada so they can fund new research and improve treatment access, I say thank you. Your generosity saves lives and fuels hope for a brighter future for all Canadians living with CF. 

Thanks to a generous donor, every contribution will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to $150,000, until December 31.  Please give today and help make “one day” without CF into one day, now.

Chanelle Laflèche