Caleb was born in January 2010, a healthy baby boy weighing in at 8 pounds, 14 ounces. But just a few weeks later, his parents, Erin and Darrell, found themselves at Egleston hospital, meeting with specialists in the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Cystic Fibrosis Program. Caleb’s routine metabolic screening had come back positive for cystic fibrosis (CF) genetic mutations.
“We didn’t have any family history of it that we knew of, and having an older child who does not have CF, you know, it kind of came out of left field,” Erin said.
CF is a progressive, life-shortening genetic disease that causes the body to make thick, sticky mucus within the lungs, pancreas and other organs. This mucus can clog the lungs, creating fertile ground for bacterial infection, or prevent the release of enzymes in the pancreas that help the body break down food and absorb nutrients. At Children’s, the CF Program is part of the second-largest clinical CF program in the country: the Emory+Children’s Cystic Fibrosis Center of Excellence.