In the Spotlight

Bryan Warnecke

Bryan, 15, who has CF, is one of the best high school hockey goalies in Colorado. He recently got to showcase his talents, and his courage, in a music video for the rock band OneRepublic.

Bryan, 15, who has CF, is one of the best high school hockey goalies in Colorado. He recently got to showcase his talents – and his courage – in a music video for the rock band OneRepublic.

Bryan Warnecke’s advice for people with cystic fibrosis is simple: don’t give up on your dreams, no matter how big they are.

Bryan recently got to share his story — and his advice about reaching for the stars — in a music video for the rock band OneRepublic. Their new song, “I Lived,” focuses on taking chances, living life to the fullest and finding courage in everyday moments.

“Being in OneRepublic’s music video is definitely one of the most unique experiences I’ve ever had, and it’s something I’ll never forget,” Bryan said. “’Amazing’ is the only way I can describe it.”

Bryan is 15 and was diagnosed with CF as an infant. He’s been following his own advice his entire life.

Despite having to complete multiple breathing treatments every day just to stay healthy, Bryan is a long-distance cyclist, skateboarder and one of the best high school hockey goalies in Colorado. He aspires to be the first person with CF to compete in the Olympics.

Bryan’s Story

The events that led to Bryan being selected for the music video are not uncommon for people with CF and their families. Last winter, Bryan fell ill. Very ill. He was hospitalized for more than a week at Children’s Hospital and missed five weeks of school due to complications with his disease.

Bryan's advice for people with CF is simple: don’t let anything stand in the way of your dreams.

Bryan's advice for people with CF is simple: don’t let anything stand in the way of your dreams.

 

“Bryan’s hospitalization was a wakeup call that we needed to do more to help support the search for a cure,” said Bryan’s dad, Steve.

Since Bryan was diagnosed with CF, the Warnecke’s have always been supportive of the CF Foundation, but after facing the “wake-up call,” decided to take their support to a whole new level.

“We came up with the idea of cycling 1,065 miles to raise money for cystic fibrosis research and drug development. Once Bryan was released from the hospital and feeling well again, that’s exactly what we did,” Steve said.

By the end of their 43-day trip, Bryan and his father had raised $300,000 to help support the search for a cure. It was Colorado’s Governor John Hickenlooper and the CEO of Children’s Hospital Colorado, Jim Shmerling, who put the Warnecke’s in contact with the band.

“OneRepublic had been looking all around the country for someone with an inspirational story to be featured in their next music video,” Steve said. “As soon as they heard Bryan’s story, they knew he was the one. We are eternally grateful that OneRepublic chose to use their talents to bring such priceless awareness to the CF cause.”

Lights, Camera, Action!

To film the music video for OneRepublic’s "I Lived," a 40-member film crew met Bryan in Colorado.

To film the music video for OneRepublic’s “I Lived,” a 40-member film crew met Bryan in Colorado. Here he gets ready for action with help from a makeup artist.

A 40-member film crew flew to Colorado and filmed Bryan over two days at his house, hockey rink, Children’s Hospital Colorado and the world-famous Red Rocks amphitheatre.

“It was so cool. I had such a fun time,” Bryan said. “The crew gave me a general idea of what to do and how to act, but mostly they just let me be myself.”

The result is a five-and-a-half minute video that introduces OneRepublic fans to Bryan and his life with cystic fibrosis. As of October 20 it has been viewed more than 2.5 million times.

Bryan has received an outpouring of support since the video was released earlier this month. He’s heard from thousands of friends, family and strangers, people with CF and those who have no connection to the disease. Most messages have been from people who found courage in Bryan’s story and reached out to tell him how they are now living differently — and to the fullest — because of his influence.

“That’s going to stay with me for the rest of my life,” Bryan said.

See OneRepublic’s video and watch Bryan’s story.