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Cystic Fibrosis Trust

Cystic fibrosis in Casualty

This month BBC1's Casualty will see the introduction of a new character with cystic fibrosis, 21-year-old Effie. Find out about the issues explored in the show or hear from Caitlin (pictured) about her real-life experiences of taking part in a CF trial.

Caitlin's story

Warning: this page contains spoilers.

Effie will be featuring in an ongoing storyline, involving her relationship with doctor Ethan Hardy and her time spent on a CF clinical trial. Effie’s storyline will run over 12 weeks, though she will not be featured in every episode. While the actress who plays Effie, Abigail Hardingham, does not have CF, last January the Trust was contacted by a researcher working on Casualty and were asked to offer guidance from both people with cystic fibrosis and medical professionals on how to portray the condition, as well as advice to Abigail on how to represent someone with cystic fibrosis.

I’ve seen Casualty and want to help

Real people like Caitlin (pictured) are taking part in ground-breaking clinical trials thanks to our Clinical Trials Accelerator Platform, a UK-wide initiative to create the infrastructure and provide the funding needed to support the running of CF clinical trials and increase the opportunities for people living with CF to take part. In turn, this will help to ensure that the latest treatments that are being developed can be accessed by the people with CF who so desperately need them as soon as possible. Donate today to help support our work.

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I want to find out more about the issues raised in Casualty

Casualty reaches a weekly audience of almost 5 million people across the UK, and we know that the inclusion of Effie’s story is a valuable way to raise awareness of cystic fibrosis to millions of people who might never have been aware of it otherwise. While we were happy to offer advice on the best way to portray cystic fibrosis from both a medical and personal perspective, Casualty is ultimately a TV drama and many parts of it are going to constructed for the purposes of entertainment.

Take a look at our page on commonly-raised topics to find out more about some of the issues raised in the series, including haemoptysis (coughing up blood), getting onto a clinical trial and other issues raised in fictional portrayals of cystic fibrosis.

Talking about cystic fibrosis

If you are someone with cystic fibrosis, or know someone with the condition, you might find that you end up having conversations with people about Casualty, and this might involve having to talk about some challenging subjects. We've created a discussion guide to help you to talk about the issues raised in fictional representations of cystic fibrosis.

Research we're funding

The Trust is committed to funding and supporting cutting-edge research to find new and better treatments for cystic fibrosis. Take a look at some of that work and the progress that is being made.

What is cystic fibrosis?

Find out more about cystic fibrosis, its diagnosis and how it is treated, as well as useful links to our publications and other organisations who can help.

More information

If you would like to find out more about any of our campaigns, publications or anything else, get in touch and we'll be happy to help.