UKCFC 2018

Yesterday I had the huge privilege of launching Straight from the Lungs live at day two of the Cystic Fibrosis Conference 2018. I had a really wonderful day and met some lovely people. It really meant a lot to have so many people approach me after my talk to say how much they enjoyed it and found it helpful.

The talk started with the full-length intro featuring many guests from Straight from the Lungs. To be honest, I was incredibly nervous at this point, but as soon as my voice joined theirs, I felt ready to take on the next 45 minutes. I started by exploring my typical treatment routine and allowing others to say how they treated their CF. Then I brought Kirsty’s voice on stage, followed by Brittney and Beth S. At this point I felt very relaxed, but that would soon all disappear as I knew the next task for me was to perform some stand-up comedy. Fortunately though, the room received my set wonderfully and it was probably the best reaction I’ve had so far, which makes sense. I mean, a room full of people interested in Cystic Fibrosis, they’re my kind of crowd! Next up was Katie, and Veronika and Kenny.

I then answered some questions I was sent over the last couple of weeks. Thanks to everyone who sent their questions in. If your question wasn’t answered on stage, make sure to listen to the full Q&A in the first edition of Extra Breaths.

Then, the podcast was wrapped up by Oli, and finally a multitude of guests saying what Cystic Fibrosis meant to them. I had the last word and it’s lovely to see how many people enjoyed my final quote from the talk.

Straight from the Lungs was always designed to showcase a wide variety of voices, as cross-infection means there can only ever be one person with CF at the conference. As much as that can be helpful, CF is far too individualised for one person’s experience to be sufficient, so all of my guests helped me to share their stories in a way that I couldn’t do alone.

My fiancée Vicky made some beautiful illustrations using quotes from Kirsty, Beth S, Katie, Veronika, and Oli. Let us know what you think of them by checking them out on our Twitter page.

I was also given the opportunity to host the day, introducing all of the other brilliant speakers, including the chief executive of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust David Ramsden, and the new chair of trustees Richard Hunt CBE. You can watch the whole of day two here.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me with the podcast and I’m so pleased that it has finally launched. If you haven’t yet listened to the first episode... what on Earth are you doing reading this? Go now! Click this immediately to listen to it!

William Marler