Photographer Ian Pettigrew has a personal connection with every person he photographs: they're suffering from cystic fibrosis just like he is.
The genetic disease, which produces a thick, sticky mucus in the lungs, pancreas and other organs, has no cure and often wreaks havoc on the body due to countless procedures that are supposed to alleviate discomfort.
(Photo Credit: Ian Pettigrew)
Symptoms of CF include frequent lung infections, persistent coughing and serious digestive issues. Some cases are so severe that individuals must carry a breathing machine or wear a colostomy bag, sometimes both at the same time.
Pettigrew set out to capture women suffering from the inherited condition — women who often deal with self-esteem and body issues.
His new project, entitled 'Salty Girls,' is therefore "dedicated to showing how beautiful those fighting CF truly are," he wrote on his website.
One of the women photographed, who chose to remain anonymous, admitted that "it took a huge amount of courage for me to be able to expose my body for 'Salty Girls.' When I look at my body, all I see are my scars."
But, she added, "I will learn to appreciate, love, and nurture my body the way it should be. My body may be scarred due to all of the physical trauma I have had to endure with cystic fibrosis, BUT, it will never define 'ME' as a person."
Head over to the photographer's website to see more moving images.
Your life just got exponentially better and more stylish now you've signed up for our newsletter. Fabulousness awaits!