Stay Mindful, Be Smart: How One Adult with CF Combats Germs in Daily Life

For adult with CF Brent Pace, staying healthy isn't about avoiding life. It's about living mindfully.

July 16, 2015 | 2 min read
Dora Nagy

Brent Pace, 39, is an engineer by day and musician by night. He works in a manufacturing plant and tours local bars with his band, Brent Pace For Mayor. He also has cystic fibrosis, a life-shortening genetic disease that causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in his lungs, making him especially susceptible to germs like bacteria.

For Brent, staying healthy isn't about avoiding life. It's about living mindfully.

“It's inevitable that I'm going to be around people, and when you're around people, there is the possibility of infection,” Brent said. “I can't spend my life worrying about germs, but I am conscious of my environment.”

Taking Precautions

To stay healthy, Brent follows simple, easy precautions that he says anyone can do. He washes his hands frequently, carries gel-based hand sanitizer with him and educates friends, family members and coworkers about CF. He also isn't afraid to let others know about his needs.

"If someone comes into my office and I'm aware that they aren't feeling well, I ask that we move our conversation into the hallway so I can keep my distance,” Brent said.

Life at Home

Being aware of his environment doesn't just happen when he's at work or playing a gig. It happens when he's at home, too. 

Brent and his fiancé, Christine, love entertaining guests, and their house is usually filled with friends and family. To help stop the spread of germs, they replaced their bathroom towels with disposable hand towels that be thrown out after each use. They also keep each other aware of how they are feeling. 

“Staying healthy when you have CF is about finding and maintaining a balance,” Brent said. “I love having fun and I love being around people. I'm not going to let germs stop me from living my life, but I am going to be smart about how I do certain things.”

Learn more about Brent and his life with CF by watching the video below.

This site contains general information about cystic fibrosis, as well as personal insight from the CF community. Opinions and experiences shared by members of our community, including but not limited to people with CF and their families, belong solely to the blog post author and do not represent those of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, unless explicitly stated. In addition, the site is not intended as a substitute for treatment advice from a medical professional. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your treatment.

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Dora previously worked at the Foundation as a writer and editor. During her tenure, she loved to listen to others share their memories and experiences, and consumed storytelling in all of its different forms. She constantly looks for the uniqueness in everyone's story. Dora has a B.A. in communications from the University of Maryland, College Park, and an M.S. in public policy and administration from the London School of Economics. Born in Budapest, Hungary, Dora was raised mainly in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area where she currently resides today.

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