Height: 5"6 | Eye Color: Blue | Hair Color: Blonde
My name is Charles Michael Duke, I’m an actor and presenter from Bournemouth. I'm Currently 22 years old and I have Cystic Fibrosis, oh, and in May 2018, after waiting 3 years, I had a Double Lung Transplant. Read more about that here.
I was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at birth and had a fairly healthy child hood with around one admission of IV antibiotics a year. However in 2014 it all started to go a bit downhill. I started to be admitted more regularly, and my lung function started to rapidly decline.
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disease that affects the Lungs and Digestive system. Mucus (hope you’re not eating your dinner right now…) is something that everyone has, in people without CF it is used to trap infection that comes into the lungs via the airways, from there it is coughed up and either spat out or swallowed. However in people with CF our mucus is much thicker and stickier, making it much harder to cough up. So instead of trapping the infection and then it being spat out, the infection harbours in the lungs, which being a warm moist place is a great place for bacteria to grow. Because of this people with CF are much more prone to infection, if you want to Learn more about CF you can do so here.
Between 2014 – 2015 I was admitted several times spending around 7 out of the 12 months in hospital. During June 2014 it was decided that my health had gotten to a point where we needed to consider lung transplantation, and so I was refereed for assessments. Unfortunately my health didn’t improve, and so I went through the assessments and was listed in April 2015, I have been waiting for a double lung transplant since.
When I was listed my doctors and I decided to adopt a regime where I spend 2 weeks in hospital and then 2 weeks at home in the hope that this will keep my health stable so that I am ‘well enough’ for when my call comes to be able to go through the operation. I did this for 18 months, at this point me and my team decided to try and give myself a bit more time at home and more of an opportunity to 'live' my life, so the regime was changed to 2 weeks in hospital, 4 weeks at home, which I have been doing ever since.
I have always loved singing, dancing and acting, and never let my CF stop me from doing what I loved. However during Christmas 2014 this all changed, as when I was performing in ‘The Christmas spectacular 2014’, my lung collapsed during a performance and I was admitted to hospital on Christmas Eve. I haven’t been able to perform on stage since. But thanks to Youtube – I’ve been able to keep entertaining people and continue to raise awareness of both CF and Organ Donation.
Whilst I’m waiting for the call I’ve also held several fundraisers to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and hope to continue to do so. Once I’ve had my transplant, I plan to busk around the UK in 52 cities on 52 different days to celebrate their 52nd birthday (or whichever birthday it is by the time I've had the operation...)
Since being on the list I've made many appearances on both Television, Radio, Print, and online to raise awareness of Cystic Fibrosis and Organ Donation and I am really proud of what I've been able to achieve despite what has been put 'in front' of me.
Please feel free to send a message if you want to chat about anything. Or if you just want to continue to follow my story, you can find my on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram (links below).
Much Love. Keep Smiling!