Episode 01 - Cystic Fibrosis

Illustration by  Vicky Neville

Illustration by Vicky Neville


My name’s William Marler. I’m 23 years old, I’m an animator, I do stand-up comedy, and I have Cystic Fibrosis. In this podcast, I’ll be helping to share real stories from real people affected by CF. Over the next 14 episodes, I’m going to be exploring the complex world of Cystic Fibrosis, from the initial diagnosis and treatment of it, to going to school, getting a job, and even falling in love. You’ll hear from the experts of CF: the people living with it everyday and their friends and family, as well as the people who dedicate their lives to researching it and treating it. It’s not always going to be pretty, but it will give you a chance to meet some amazing people living extraordinary lives.



Dr Jayesh Bhatt

Dr Jayesh Bhatt is a paediatric respiratory consultant at Nottingham Children's Hospital in the UK. He helps to break down what Cystic Fibrosis means from a medical standpoint, including how it's caused and how it affects the body. Dr Bhatt looked after me for many years when I was a child and I'm very proud to have him feature in the podcast. He's also the President of the British Paediatric Respiratory Society and Director of the Nottingham Children's Hospital CF Centre. Hear a more detailed medial explanation of Cystic Fibrosis in this episode's Extra Breaths.

Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic condition that mainly affects the lungs and digestive system.


Kirsty is a mother of four children, two of which (Jakoby and Willow) have Cystic Fibrosis. As happens often with CF, when Kirsty received Jakoby's diagnosis, she was flung into a scary new world that she knew very little about. After a period of 'mourning', her and her husband Matt slowly integrated CF into their lives and began coping with it. Hear more of Kirsty's story in Episode 02 - Diagnosis.



Nick has Cystic Fibrosis and in 2016 became the first person with CF to reach the top of Mount Everest. After three attempts (one of which nearly killed him), he finally experienced being on top of the world. Nick was able to stay motivated on the mountain by reminding himself that the struggle he experienced is similar to that of some people's everyday experience with Cystic Fibrosis. Hear more of Nick's story in Episode 03 - Treatment.



Also known as Fabian, Lucius, Tammy, and Ariel, Katie is pursuing her dream of being an actor. She was inspired to do so through a desire to turn her body into an instrument that she could use instead of thinking of it as 'diseased'. Alongside the ability to connect with audiences and characters throughout time, Katie loves her job because it means she can live more than one life. Hear more of Katie's story in Episode 06 - Work.


Veronika & Kenny

Veronika saw a cute boy on a beach and married him two and a half months later. She catcalled him because her friends told her she wasn't brave enough to do it. Kenny supports Veronika throughout her struggles with Cystic Fibrosis but he understands how important it is to help her live a normal life. Hear more of Veronika & Kenny's story in Episode 08 - Love.



Jerry has been living with Cystic Fibrosis for 61 years and has reached that age in part due to receiving a double lung transplant on 18th April 2012. He says his transplant is a gift and his donor's decision to donate the organs as an act of unconditional love. Jerry works hard to continue to stay healthy and inspire people worldwide. Hear more of Jerry's story in Episode 11 - Transplants.



On 3rd January 2018, the world lost 11-year-old Elle, one of the most incredible souls. Elle's mum Becky deals with the loss of her daughter by remembering how inspirational and brave she was. She says that whether Elle survived or not, Becky would've always done everything she could to raise awareness and money to help fight Cystic Fibrosis. Hear more of Becky's story in Episode 14 - Loss.



Presented and produced by William Marler.

Recorded at Birmingham City University.

Featuring the voices of Kirsty, Nick, Katie, Veronika, Kenny, Jerry, Charles, Beth, Siobhan, Brittney, Ben, Declan, Martine, Andy, Tom, and Dr Jayesh Bhatt.

Music by Ben Weatherill.

Illustration by Vicky Neville.

Thanks to Christopher Sleight for letting me use the intro to Mountain in this episode and also to Sam Lewis for his keen ear and ever-helpful advice.

William Marler