May 14, 2020

In the 1950s, most kids with cystic fibrosis died in childhood. Today, things are a lot different. One SickKids patient, Mac Robertson, isn’t just surviving, he’s thriving. He’s a strong, six-foot teenager. He plays elite baseball. And, some days, he forgets he even has it. So, how’d we get here? And what does SickKids have to do with it?

Dr. Lap-Chee Tsui (second from right) at SickKids in 1981

From left: Marty, Mac, Cooper, and Tania Robertson

A young Mac Robertson taking his meds

Mac plays baseball

Mac is ready for his podcast interview



  • News report courtesy of CTV
  • Dr. Felix Ratjen is the H.E. Sellers Chair in Cystic Fibrosis
  • Cystic Fibrosis Canada
  • Dr. Myroslava Romach and Dr. Edward Sellers
  • Jagle Bash

Transcripts and Show Notes

Read the thrilling story of the discovery of the CF gene in Nature

Learn more about the SickKids Program for Individualized CF Therapy (CFIT)

Cystic Fibrosis Canada

For an in-depth history of SickKids, read SickKids: The History of the Hospital for Sick Children

Read more about the fight over CF drug prices



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About the Host: Hannah Bank

As a SickKids Foundation writer, Hannah works closely with world-renowned SickKids scientists, physicians, and researchers, turning dense medical jargon into engaging content about the latest research and treatments for kids. She’s inspired by the hope and perseverance of young patients and their families, a fantastic team of colleagues, and her three young girls at home.

Broken Hearts

CTV News

1989 news clip about the discovery of the CF gene at SickKids