Beautiful fighter: Ian Pettigrew, from Ontario, Canada, photographed this woman with cystic fibrosis holding her oxygen tank as a part of his second book, Salty Girls, which aims to bring awareness to the disease
Lifelong battle: On his website,
Mr Pettigrew, 46, wrote that the upcoming photography book (pictured) is 'dedicated to showing how beautiful those fighting CF truly are'
For those with the inherited condition, a defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce a thick, sticky mucus in the lungs, pancreas and other organs, with symptoms including frequent lung infections, persistent coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, poor growth and slow weight gain.
Mr Pettigrew explained that at the time he had seen in the news a model with Crohn's Disease posing in a bikini with her colostomy bag, as well as Tyra Banks interviewing a model with vitiligo, a disease that causes the causes the loss of skin color.
'I just thought well, it's time for a model with CF,' he said.
The project's name, Salty Girls, is derived from the fact that people with CF have more salt in their sweat compared with those who do not have the disorder.
Life of the party: This model posed in her lace bra while holding a Dos Equis beer bottle for her portrait
Still smiling: Another woman with CF wore a green two-piece to show off her chest tube
'These women are inspirational and fearless, and we want to show hope for those younger CFers,'
Mr Pettigrew noted of the women, who are roughly between the ages of 20 and 40.
One of the models with CF, who chose to remain anonymous, revealed on
Mr Pettigrew's website that the disease has led to her having 'countless body image issues'.
'It took a huge amount of courage for me to be able to expose my body for Salty Girls,' she explained. 'When I look at my body, all I see are my scars.'
She added: 'I pick out every single thing I find wrong with my
body, and compare it with other women's bodies.'
The woman recalled growing up and being made fun of for the scar on her stomach, which was from her first of many surgeries. After years of being insecure
with her body, she has vowed to take a stance.
Proud woman: This model posed topless for
Mr Pettigrew while smiling at the camera
Stay strong: Another woman with CF flaunted her tattoos in a black bra top and matching underwear
Badge of honor: One of the women featured in the book (pictured) wore a colorful bikini top while exposing her scars on her stomach
'I will learn to appreciate, love, and nurture my body the way it should be. My body may be scarred due to all of the physical trauma I have had to endure with Cystic Fibrosis, BUT, it will never define "ME" as a
person,' she wrote. 'It will define my experiences and how it has shaped my perspective on MYSELF, and EVERYONE that is struggling [sic].'
added: 'My scars tell a story of a triumph after every obstacle. My scars tell me that no matter the BS I've had to deal with in my life - I still manage to keep the fire in my spirit BURNING. That is enough to keep me going [sic]. '
Last year, Pettigrew traveled 6,000 miles to 25 different cities to photograph 92 adults with the disorder for his book Just Breathe.
No fear: Another model rolled up her muscle T-shirt to show off her scars, as well as her arm tattoos
Important message: This woman wore a tank top that reminds others that she is beautiful
Eskimo-inspired: This CF sufferer sported a furry hat and nothing else when she posed for
'One of the goals of this project was
for younger people with CF to see the portraits and know there is future for them,' Pettigrew told The Mighty. 'Yes, there are varying degrees and not all CFers are alike. But with the advances in treatment, proper nutrition and exercise, it is a far brighter future than even just 10-15 years ago. '
According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, few children who suffered from the disease in the 1950s lived to attend elementary school, but now many people diagnosed with the condition can expect to live into their 30s, 40s or longer.
An estimated 30,000 people in the United States have CF, and nearly half the CF population are age 18 or older.
'People still have to realize this is a fatal, life-shortening disease,'
Mr Pettigrew explained. '[CF] is brutal and heartbreaking. But there’s a sense of hope and optimism as well.'
Casual look: A woman with 'Salty Girls' written on her shoulder donned a black bandeau top and denim cutoffs for her portrait
Happy girl: Another young woman showed off her cleavage in a black dress with a mesh cutout
Pin-up inspired: This model proudly posed with her hands on her hips in a floral bandeau top and high-
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3057794/Women-suffering-cystic-fibrosis-pose-powerful-picture-series-order-bring-hope-children-teens-diagnosed-life-threatening-condition.html#ixzz3YbycyTJT
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A fashion photographer suffering from cystic fibrosis (CF) is revolutionizing the way people look at the life-threatening disorder by snapping the portraits of 56 adult women living with the genetic disease to bring hope to children and teens diagnosed with the condition, which has no known cure.
Ian Pettigrew, 46, from Ontario, Canada, was working on his book of portraits, Just Breathe: Adults with Cystic Fibrosis, when he realized that he had far more female subjects than
male. After someone noted that the collection of photos was 'turning out to be a bunch of hot chicks with CF', he became inspired to start his second project, Salty Girls, starring women with the disorder, which damages the lungs and digestive system.
'I know what
these go through on a daily basis; woman everyday it's a struggle living with CF. And, to the uninformed, it is the invisible fatal disease,' he wrote on his website of the upcoming book, which is 'dedicated to showing how beautiful those fighting CF truly are'.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3057794/Women-suffering-cystic-fibrosis-pose-powerful-picture-series-order-bring-hope-children-teens-diagnosed-life-threatening-condition.html#ixzz3YbySJcTR
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