Salty Girls Chronicles Women Living with Cystic Fibrosis

By: Vasiliki Marapas - May 1, 2015
References: ianpettigrew & refinery29
Salty Girls is a photography series that focuses on women living with cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening disease that causes mucus build-up in the organs. Many of those suffering with CF never make it past adolescence, a reason why it's commonly referred to as a childhood disease. However, earlier diagnosis and better care have lead to many living well into adulthood.

Diagnosed with the disease at age 38, photographer Ian Pettigrew eventually decided to use his work as a platform. He explains, "I hope the general public becomes more aware of CF and what it is. We don't get all the glossy press, like the ALS Ice-Bucket [Challenge] or cancer — hopefully this changes today. Awareness is key to finding a cure."

Aside from awareness, the project aims to encourage acceptance, confidence and sexual agency for the subjects and viewers living with the disease, which speaks to the healing and transformative power of art.