by INSIDE EDITION staff
Fashion photographer Ian Pettigrew is shedding new light on cystic fibrosis.
Pettigrew, who suffers from the life-threatening condition which damages the lungs and digestive system, was working on his book Just Breathe: Adults with Cystic Fibrosis, a collection of portraits of adults living with the condition.
He noticed he had many more women than men in his collection, and someone pointed out to him that it was 'turning out to be a bunch of hot chicks with CF,' which inspired him to create his second project called Salty Girls: The Women of Cystic Fibrosis.
Pettigrew told INSIDE EDITION, "People just don't know anything about it...you tell someone you have CF, they have no idea what it is, that you're born with it and there's no cure."
Having the condition himself, he knows first-hand what these women go through with the daily struggle of living with the disorder.
"Some of these women told me that they have not dated at all because of their scars," said Pettigrew.
The women are now getting the chance to be seen in a new way. "They're tired of being ashamed of their bodies and going to the beach and basically wearing an overcoat," he said.
He named the project 'Salty Girls' because people with cystic fibrosis have more salt in their sweat than other people.
Adding to the challenge of living with CF, Pettigrew told INSIDE EDITION, "A lot of the Salty Girls are also mothers. You have no idea the balancing act that has to be done to manage their CF treatments as well as being a full time mother."
Fifty-six women participated in the photo series. Two of them have died since the photos were taken.
Pettigrew wants to bring hope to children and teens living CF.
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