CFNZ is the only organisation supporting young people and their families living with cystic fibrosis.
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is New Zealand’s most common inherited condition and yet few people know much about it. There is no cure and one in 25 New Zealanders carry the gene that causes this life-limiting disorder.
CF affects a number of organs in the body, particularly the lungs and pancreas, by clogging them with thick, sticky mucus. In the lungs this can cause shortness of breath, a chronic cough and repeated chest infections. In the pancreas it can reduce or stop enzymes from being released to digest food, causing poor weight gain and malnutrition due to malabsorption.
There are almost 500 New Zealanders with CF and significantly more affected through their relationship to a person with the condition. Life expectancy is around 30 in New Zealand, although sadly many die younger and a lucky few live longer.
Managing the condition includes on-going daily home treatments, including twice-daily chest physiotherapy sessions, many oral, nebulised and intravenous medications, dietary enzymes and vitamins. People with CF must also eat a high fat, high carbohydrate diet to help maintain their weight, often supplemented by high calorie food supplements.
People with CF are particularly susceptible to lung infections and cross infection is a concern with frequent hospital stays for intensive IV antibiotics. Progressively, CF can also cause diabetes, asthma, liver disease, infertility and permanently reduced lung capacity which, in many cases, requires a lung transplant.
Cystic Fibrosis New Zealand (CFNZ) is the only charity dedicated to supporting and improving quality of life for people with CF and their families in New Zealand.
CFNZ receives less than 10% government funding and relies on fundraising to continue providing financial, educational and emotional help to those families living with CF. This work includes our support network of field workers, providing essential medical equipment, financial and welfare grants, communication such as the CF News magazine and Panui e-newsletter, hospital packs, lobbying for equal access to treatment and funding research towards a cure.
CFNZ was established in 1968 and is a registered charity under the Charities Act 2005, registration number CC10274.
CFNZ provides financial, educational and emotional support to people with CF and their families in New Zealand. We educate and empower people with CF to be excellent managers of their own condition and live a life unlimited by CF.