Episode 06 - Work

Illustration by  Vicky Neville

Illustration by Vicky Neville


Cystic Fibrosis is no longer a childhood illness. A huge step on the journey to adulthood is getting a job, and it’s a step that the majority of people with CF will be able to take. This is a big change from school or university though because everything you do now impacts not just yourself, but your colleagues, and the boss.




Siobhan used to have a job in a garden centre which worked well with her Cystic Fibrosis lifestyle due to being flexible and close to home. Her boss found out about her CF by seeing a news article she was featured in. Siobhan recently decided against going to university after finding a passion for volunteer work.



Beth's old job was also very flexible and her boss was understanding because she was upfront with him from the beginning.



Morgan never found the need to tell his colleagues about Cystic Fibrosis, so they were very shocked when he accidentally mentioned it in conversation. He also speaks about the various government support available to people with CF in the US.



Ange is a social worker at Nottingham's Wolfson Cystic Fibrosis Centre. She helped me apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) when it was introduced in recent years. I'm very thankful to have had her support because it's a very challenging and emotional process. You can find out more about applying for PIP, including Kate’s story of having to go to court, in this episode’s Extra Breaths or by visiting the official website.



Sam was the Operations Manager for Ember Television, the first company I worked for. We sat down to discuss the various ways the team helped accommodate my Cystic Fibrosis needs in the workplace, like being fully prepared when I had to have time in hospital.



Cara decided to open her own business, CC Horse Training, after working at a horse breeding farm and receiving a lot of attention from customers. Because she is self-employed, the hours are totally flexible to her Cystic Fibrosis lifestyle and she finds her active work style very beneficial to her health.


Ravi is a professor of moving image at Birmingham City University and invited me to help create the opening sequence to the 2016 BRIT Awards. Neither Ravi, nor his co-director Wayne McGregor, ever pushed me past my physical limits on set and always treated me as a valued member of their team. Hear more from Ravi about this exciting project in this episode’s Extra Breaths.

If you have passion for a job, having a disability becomes completely irrelevant.
— Ravi


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 from Katie about some of her acting roles in this episode's Extra Breaths.



Presented and produced by William Marler.

Recorded at Birmingham City University.

Featuring the voices of Siobhan, Beth, Morgan, Ange, Sam, Cara, Ravi, and Katie.

Music by Ben Weatherill.

Illustration by Vicky Neville.

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

William Marler