My name is Lauren, I'm 14 and I have cystic fibrosis.
CF can stop me doing a lot of things.
It can stop me going out with my friends
if I'm ill and I can't walk around too much,
because I'll get out of breath and then I'll be sick
and then it can lead to me being ill.
I do do sports and I do dance,
but when I am quite productive,
it means that I can't do as much as I would usually do.
When I'm productive, it means that I'm coughing a lot
and I'm bringing up phlegm and it's not very nice.
The treatments that I have for CF
are things like antibiotics and inhalers.
Lots of different medications, really.
I also have physio and a nebuliser.
A nebuliser is, basically, an inhaler,
so I can inhale the medication.
I have physio twice a day,
and it's basically percussion, which is tapping on the chest
and making you bring up lots of type of phlegm in your lungs.
And it helps because it can stop you from getting bugs
and it can bring up all the nasty things
that can do your body harm.
It's quite important that you learn to manage your own treatment
because it makes you feel more independent and happier, in a way,
because you've learnt how to do it yourself
and you're not always relying on somebody else.
I was 12 when I first learnt how to do my physio by myself properly.
I learnt how to do my inhalers properly by myself
and learnt how to use my PEP mask and my flutter by myself.
I wouldn't say there is really any proper age
that you would need to start learning,
because I think it's when you're really ready to do it yourself
and when you feel confident and you want to be quite independent.
My mum taught me
and I think it was easier for her to teach me than a doctor
because she's been with me the whole way through.
(mother) When Lauren was a baby, we knew there was a problem,
because she was suffering from a lot of tummy aches
and she was eating a lot,
feeding very frequently but not actually putting any weight on.
Lauren was diagnosed at three months
because she had very severe bowel problems
and they became so serious that she was admitted to hospital.
When we were told that Lauren had cystic fibrosis,
you really want to know what the future holds,
although you can't quite take it all in at first.
You want to know what you can do to help your child,
how you can access the treatments that are available,
what research is being done
and how you can lead as normal a life as possible as a family.
When Lauren's well, she can participate
in any of the activities she chooses to after school or outside school.
She loves dancing and quite often comes home from school,
puts her music on full blast and dances for hours in her bedroom.
She participates in talent shows and fashion shows at school.
She loves dancing, drama, singing.
The singing's also a very sneaky way of getting physiotherapy
through the breathing exercises.
And she can do virtually anything she wants to do.
When I'm not well, I always plan something,
I always have something to aim for.
So say I was in hospital
and I couldn't go out for a couple of days,
I always plan something nice at the end of it,
something to look forward to and aim for,
so you can fight everything bad that comes round,
because you know there's something positive at the end of it.