Two decades ago individuals with cystic fibrosis (CF) had an average life expectancy of less than 30 years. A serious hereditary disorder that makes breathing and digestion difficult, cystic fibrosis still cannot be cured, but several drugs and supportive health regimens have helped extend the life span of many people to 40 years or more. New drugs that, for the first time, address the underlying biological cause of cystic fibrosis are the subjects of "A Breath of Fresh Air," a feature article by Steven M. Rowe, J. P. Clancy and Eric J. Sorscher in the August 2011 issue of Scientific American.

Watch the videos below to get a sense of CF patients' daily challenges—and bravery.