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"It means a lot to me to help give these women the platform to say what they feel, to vent their frustrations, and to take back ownership and not feel ashamed or embarrassed about their bodies," he said.
He said he has become good friends with many of the people he has photographed, two of whom have died since their photo shoot.
The symptoms of cystic fibrosis can vary depending on the person and the severity of the condition. Symptoms may appear at infancy, but for other children, symptoms may not begin until after puberty or even later in life.
As time passes, the symptoms associated with the disease may get better or worse.
Many of his models got to meet each other at a gathering of cystic fibrosis patients in Daytona, Fla.
Despite the awareness it has raised, Pettigrew said the most important thing that has come of his project is the support community they have provided each other with."To see the instant bond and lifelong friendships that were made brought me to tears," he said.
Ian Pettigrew's series "Salty Girls" looks past the scars to see the beautiful women living with CF.In people with cystic fibrosis, however, a faulty gene causes the fluids to become thick and sticky.