Cystic Fibrosis Vest Worldwide :: Changing Lives One Vest At A Time

Cystic Fibrosis Vest Worldwide :: Changing Lives One Vest At A Time

CF Vests Worldwide was established in June 2020 with a mission of donating therapy vests to cystic fibrosis patients around the world. To provide hope for those who do not have the means to this life changing medical equipment otherwise.

Cystic fibrosis is a chronic, life-limiting and life-ending genetic disease that affects many organs in the body, but most essentially the lungs. The primary consequence of Cystic Fibrosis is the production of an extraordinary amount of thick and sticky mucus. In effect, from the time of birth, the patients’ lungs are clotted with secretions, thereby creating infections and life shortening lung damage if not properly treated.

The gravity of cystic fibrosis is exhibited in the average life expectancy data of CF patients.  The journal “Medical News Today” cites a source which suggests that in developing countries where CFVWW donates therapy vests, such as El Salvador and India, life expectancy for people with CF is under 15 years of age. This shortened life span is due mainly to the lack of medication, necessary medical equipment, and expertise in those countries.

CFVWW provides life saving medical equipment to cystic fibrosis patients
CFVWW provides life saving medical equipment to cystic fibrosis patients

The mission of CFVWW is to extend the lives of these CF patients in developing countries by donating therapy vests and medical equipment that is not available. To date, CFVWW has donated 266 vests to cystic fibrosis patients in 52 countries, with Brazil, Pakistan, Romania, Egypt, Kosovo, and India receiving the most vest donations. Prior to the establishment of CFVWW, the idea of CF patients outside the U.S. owning a vest was essentially nonexistent. With doctors having limited to no knowledge of this disease, they would not have had the opportunity to even know about this life-extending equipment. if the local medical community is not aware of the therapy vest, CF patients would have no way of having knowledge of this equipment either unfortunately.

Further, the dire economic conditions of these countries do not make a purchase of these therapy vests feasible by either the medical community or individuals. Even if they are aware of a therapy vest or able to access one, the cost of this equipment is approximately $20,000.

Without these therapy vests, parents are required to perform lengthy and tiring manual chest percussions on their child.  Often the parents do not perform these percussions due to lack of training on how to conduct the exercise, lack of strength to perform the percussion properly, and the lack of time – as these sessions must be undertaken multiple times a day to actually be beneficial.  As a result of these limitations, many children with cystic fibrosis are untreated, leading to lung damage and ultimately lung failure over time.

Children with cystic fibrosis benefit greatly from CF vests
Children with cystic fibrosis benefit greatly from CF vests

CFVWW solves these problems through the donation of therapy vests at no cost to CF patients living around the world.

CFVWW has donated over 100 therapy vests to CF patients outside of the United States over the past year.  Due to our rapid pace of giving, CFVWW is in constant need of vest donations for us to distribute to CF patients globally. Should you or anyone you know have a vest machine or vest garment to donate, please contact me at [email protected].

About The Author

Rod Spadinger, 51 years old, was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis when he was three months old.  In August 2017, Rod moved from his home in Honolulu, Hawaii to Dallas, Texas to receive a double lung and liver transplant.  As a way to give back his organ donor’s family, in July 2019, Rod published “A Collection of 50 Stories Inspired by my Angel Donor, Joni Marie”, memoirs of his post-transplant life experiences resulting from the lifesaving organ donations he received.  In order to give back to the CF community as a whole, Rod founded CF Vests Worldwide in June 2020.  The aim of CFVWW is to improve health outcomes and to provide hope for CF patients around the world through donations of therapy vest machines, as this equipment is largely unavailable globally outside of the United States.



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