Together with the breaths of many people living with cystic fibrosis, over 30 celebrities have given their support and breaths to the collaboration in order to highlight the difficulties and struggles some people face just to breathe.
The poignant project entitled Breathe – Life Unlimited contains the sounds of over 200 breaths contributed by some of UK’s best known politicians, pop stars, journalists, Olympic athletes, comedians, actors, as well as people living with cystic fibrosis. The music and breaths aim to tell the story of one woman and her struggles and hopes with cystic fibrosis. Along with the video, the Cystic Fibrosis Trust aims to raise awareness of this debilitating and destructive condition and vital funds to beat cystic fibrosis for good.
Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disease caused by a faulty gene that controls the movement of salt and water in and out of cells. It causes the lungs and digestive system to become clogged with mucus, making it hard to breathe and digest food. More than 2.5 million people in the UK carry the faulty gene, around one in 25 of the population, and there is currently no cure.
To create the music track, the Trust teamed up with International record producer Dimitri Tikivoi, who has worked with the likes of Placebo, Charli XCX and Sophie Ellis-Bextor.
Those involved in the track include TV presenter Jeremy Vine, award-winning comedienne Sarah Millican, Bloc Party front man Kele Okereke, The Libertines, Call the Midwife star Jenny Agutter and actor Joe Thomas – better known as Simon from the Inbetweeners.
Money raised from this fundraising drive will be invested in world-class innovation and research; unrivalled information and support for those affected by the condition; and campaigns and projects to improve health and wellbeing.
Alongside these celebrities are also people who live with cystic fibrosis. One of the breaths is from Sophie Grace Holmes, who stars in the music video. After her lung capacity plunged to 60% at the hands of cystic fibrosis, she has decided to set up her own personal fitness company.
Sophie said “You would never know I had cystic fibrosis if you saw me in the street but this condition has affected every area of my life. From missing parties whilst receiving life-saving treatment in my teens to my lowest point when I could barely breathe, this cruel condition has taken so much from me. But there is a brighter future ahead, we can lift the limits and I’m so proud to fight for my future and health and urge everyone to dig deep and support this campaign.”
There is a story behind every breath in track, each unique. The mixture of sounds draws attention to the effects that cystic fibrosis has on the lungs, creating a moving contrast between healthy and unhealthy lungs. For example, what sounds like a rainmaker in the background throughout is actually 23-year old Poppy Roberts breathing before a life-saving lung transplant helped improve her prognosis. 10-year-old Elle Whitfield who was tragically told at Christmas that she wouldn’t live to her next birthday also gave her breath and has recently been listed on the transplant waiting list.
Ed Owen, Chief Executive of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust said, “Too many people are dying too young from cystic fibrosis. Scientific breakthroughs, life-changing treatments and the dawn of a new era in care are all converging to give us a once-in-a-generation opportunity to beat cystic fibrosis for good. From cutting edge gene-editing science, new ways of tackling lethal superbugs threatening the lives of people with cystic fibrosis and promoting health and wellbeing for teenagers, the Trust is fighting to lift the limits imposed on the thousands of people affected by this devastating condition.”