During COVID, it became apparent who in our lives supported the decisions we made for my wife’s health.
Ray initially learned about CF when he started dating his wife Rebecca. Seeing her battle firsthand inspired him to get involved locally with events like Finest, Hike, Cycle, and then at the national level supporting guidelines, virtual events, and the blog. He has served as a leadership board member in the Wisconsin Chapter, in the Greater Cincinnati chapter as their Tomorrow’s Leaders chair, and as a VLC co-chair. Ray wrote his book, Lessons From a CF Cornerman, during and about his wife’s transplant. He has degrees in engineering and business and works as a program manager in the life sciences industry.
Although I was disappointed that the Volunteer Leadership Conference was transformed into a virtual event this year, I know that this was the best decision to keep the cystic fibrosis community safe during the coronavirus outbreak.
When my wife's health declined and we didn't know if she'd be able to undergo a lung transplant, I decided to reject blind optimism and pessimism and chose a third path.
As the husband of Rebecca, who has cystic fibrosis, I've been criticized more than once for joking too much throughout our journey with CF. But if there is one thing my wife has taught me, it's that amazing courage is not improved by focusing on the imposing strength of the disease; it's magnified by laughing in its face.
During a health crisis, we can focus on our pain so much that we don't take time to acknowledge the pain of others.