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Clarice’s cystic fibrosis story

smiling girl
18 June 2019

Seven-year-old Clarice has been channelling her inner Jackson Pollock while staying at Sheffield Children’s (he’s an abstract expressionist painter from America with a style just like Clarice’s!).

She said, “I like playing with my teachers, we do lots of arts and crafts and the hospital is really bright and colourful.”

Clarice has cystic fibrosis (CF) and has been at Sheffield Children’s four times in the last six months. One of these visits was to fit a portocath, which is a small medical device that provides direct access to a central vein. This means that Clarice doesn’t need a new injection for every treatment, and her mum can do it for her at home too!

This time, Clarice is in Sheffield Children’s for a bronchoscopy – to look inside Clarice’s lungs – or as she puts it: “I’ve got to have a bronchy because having CF means that your lungs can get filled with lots of sticky and icky mucus.”

Happy girl with painting

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition which affects more than 10,000 people in the UK. One in 25 of us carry the faulty gene which causes CF, often without knowing it. CF is when glands in the body which usually produce thin secretions (such as mucus in the lungs, sweat, saliva and digestive fluids), produce thicker and more sticky secretions. This build-up of mucus can cause lung infections and problems with digesting food.

But having cystic fibrosis hasn’t stopped Clarice doing the activity that she loves most.

Her mum, Lydia said: “She loves to run around and so her cheerleading club is great for her. They do acrobatics and she gets thrown around in the air.”

From being thrown in the air to throwing paint onto paper, Clarice does it all with a smile.

She said: “The staff are really great, they’re funny and really nice.”

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