Five Feet Apart

Five Feet Apart is a film about two young people with cystic fibrosis (CF) who fall in love but must stay separated because of cross-infection. Cystic Fibrosis Trust was not involved in the making of this film, but we recognise that it will help to raise vital awareness of the real impact of cystic fibrosis. Warning: this page contains spoilers.

  • I've seen the film and want to help

    The drug Will is trialling in the film is fictional, but there are real life-saving drugs being developed right now.

    Every day we move closer to a better world for people with CF, but we still have a long way to go. You can help fund ground-breaking research by getting involved and helping us to beat CF for good.

    Get involved

  • I want to find out more about the issues raised in the film

    Five Feet Apart has helped to bring CF into the mainstream and has undoubtedly raised the public profile of the condition. However, we are aware that the film is both fictional, and set in the USA. For these reasons, a lot of the issues raised in the film might not realistically represent the experiences of people with CF or might not give the full story of CF in the UK, where things like rules on cross-infection can be different than in the USA.

    Take a look at the commonly raised topics to find out more about some of the issues raised in the film, including lung transplants and cross-infection rules.

  • What is cross-infection?

    Cross-infection is when one person spreads an infection to another person. For people with cystic fibrosis, cross-infection can be very harmful and poses a particular threat. This is why people with cystic fibrosis should not meet face to face.

    People with cystic fibrosis are vulnerable to different bacteria or 'bugs', which grow in their lungs.  

    While these bugs are usually harmless to people who don't have cystic fibrosis, they can settle in the lungs (colonise) and be harmful for those who do. These bugs can be easily transmitted from one person with cystic fibrosis to another.

    There is less risk of transmission of bugs in an outdoor environment, but meeting indoors, travelling with other people with cystic fibrosis, or spending time with them socially has a high level of risk. The risk of cross infection increases the longer people with cystic fibrosis are in close proximity to one another.

    Find out more about cross-infection

  • I need help talking about the issues raised in the film

    If you are someone with cystic fibrosis, or know someone with the condition, you might find that you end up having conversations with people about Five Feet Apart, and this might involve having to talk about some challenging subjects. We've created a discussion guide to help you to talk about the issues raised in fictional representations of cystic fibrosis.

  • Oli and Mahi's story

    Oli and Mahi met on a dating app and got talking. The catch? They found out that they both had cystic fibrosis. Knowing that they could never meet, they remained 'virtual' friends. Hear from them about what it's really like to date when you have a life-limiting condition.

    Read their story


The risk of passing bugs to each other means that two people with CF can never meet face to face.

What is CF?

Cystic fibrosis, or CF, affects the lungs, digestive system and other organs, and there are over 10,600 people living with it in the UK.


Every penny donated helps create a brighter future for people with cystic fibrosis, by funding support, research or other vital work. 

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