Anna Kampas, a Teen with CF, on Making Treatments and Therapies a Priority

Learn why Anna Kampas, a young adult with CF, faces her challenging treatment regimen head on.

| 3 min read
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Dora Nagy
Medication-teen-Anna
Medication-teen-Anna

Anna Kampas looks like a typical 16-year-old. She loves sports and excels at soccer, skiing and track. Unlike most teenagers, though, Anna begins her day at 5:15 a.m. Before she can even begin thinking about school, sports or boys, she must complete 30 minutes of cystic fibrosis therapies and take dozens of pills just to stay healthy.  

For Anna, there is no compromising. Sticking to her health care routine is a must. "My treatments and therapies are my number-one priority," said Anna, who was diagnosed with CF when she was an infant. "I want to live a long, healthy life and I know doing my treatments will help me."

Everyday Responsibilities

For many with CF, the burden of treatments can be a real challenge, but Anna faces that challenge head on. She began taking full responsibility for her own treatments and therapies when she was in middle school.

Teen-Medication-Anna

This is no small feat. Anna's health regimen consists of a mechanical vest that loosens mucus from her lungs, nebulizers, inhalers, and dozens of medications. On a regular day, Anna spends more than an hour completing treatments, in the morning and again in the evening. When she is sick, she completes treatments every four hours-even through the night. Still, she rarely misses a step in her routine.

"She's always been that way-she's incredibly independent," said Anna's mother, Stephanie. "She was changing her own feeding tube at 6 years old, not because we asked her to, but because she wanted to learn how."

One Life to Live

Anna credits her parents and her care team at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC for empowering her to take charge of her own health at an early age. She says they taught her just how  important it is to lead a healthy lifestyle.

“I only have one life and I'm going to live it to the fullest,” Anna said. “If my choice is to be sick all the time or spend a few hours each day doing treatments, I'm going to choose the treatments.”

Anna's care team has also inspired her to dream big. After graduating from high school, she has her sights set on going into health care, and hopes to become a physician's assistant.

“My care team is like family. I'm always so inspired by them,” Anna said. “I really want to go into medicine and help others, the way my doctors and nurses have helped me.”

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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Topics
Teen Care | Treatment Plan
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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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