Episode 02 - Diagnosis

Illustration by  Vicky Neville

Illustration by Vicky Neville


The Cystic Fibrosis journey starts when you receive the diagnosis. The news is usually give to parents of babies or young children but some people are diagnosed later on in life. While being told you or your child has CF may seem like the end of something beautiful, in fact, it’s only the beginning.



Liz & Jerry

I was born in 1995 and, to begin with at least, everything was normal. My mum and dad, Liz and Jerry, had very little prior knowledge of Cystic Fibrosis and assumed I’d be a very ill child that couldn’t join in with other children at school. Hear more from them in this episode’s Extra Breaths.

We thought you would be this really ill child that couldn’t do anything.
— Jerry (My Dad)


My grandmother, Cherry, is the sweetest little thing in the world. She can fit in your pocket and I wish I could keep her as a little desk ornament because she never fails to make me smile. My diagnosis helped to put her problems at work in perspective for her. Hear more from Cherry in this episode’s Extra Breaths.

Cherry and I in 2014.

Cherry and I in 2014.




Morgan was diagnosed a few months after birth and his parents both reacted in completely opposite ways. He has come to understand the importance of taking risks and exploring the world outside of the bubble that you grow up in but still recognises how much his mother has provided for him over the years.



Amanda Ward is the CF Nurse Specialist at Nottingham Children’s Hospital. She explains the Guthrie test that first identifies Cystic Fibrosis in a baby and the various difficulties with breaking the news of a diagnosis to parents. Hear more from Amanda about the diagnosis process in this episode’s Extra Breaths.



Diagnosed at around 4 years old, Katie remembers the before and after transition of being diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. After being resistant to treatment, her mindset changed when her sister was born and also diagnosed.



An injury at school led to Veronika seeing a doctor and being diagnosed at the age of 9. She also underwent the huge lifestyle change that a CF diagnosis brings and she gives a frank account of the self-destructive nature of her teen years. Hear more from Veronika in this episode’s Extra Breaths.



Martine’s daughter rebelled against her CF routine as a teenager too. Although she is now rigorous with her treatment, it took an incredibly brave and drastic measure on Martine and her husband’s part to get there. Hear more from Martine about her daughter’s difficult diagnosis process in this episode’s Extra Breaths.


Jakoby and Willow are Kirsty’s superheroes and amaze her and her husband every single day. They have been raised to have a positive attitude about their Cystic Fibrosis and Jakoby is an amazing role model for Willow. Hear more from Kirsty in Episode 01 - Cystic Fibrosis and this episode’s Extra Breaths.



Presented and produced by William Marler.

Recorded at Birmingham City University.

Featuring the voices of Morgan, Amanda, Katie, Veronika, Martine, Kirsty, my sweet grandmother Cherry, and my wonderful Mum and Dad, Liz and Jerry.

Music by Ben Weatherill.

Illustration by Vicky Neville.

Thanks to Sam Lewis for his keen ear and ever-helpful advice.

William Marler