When my wife convinced me to undertake a hike up to Angel's Landing, I pictured the physical challenge of it, not the friendship we would develop with another couple on the way up.
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At various points in my life, I have faced ableist comments or reactions to my cystic fibrosis treatments, which have greatly affected me. I hope this blog post makes people more aware of the language they use toward people with chronic illnesses.
When I was in high school, I tried my best to hide my CF from my friends. When this put my health at risk, I knew I had to find friends who would accept me and to become a better advocate for myself.
Growing up with cystic fibrosis was often lonely, but discovering how to make myself and others laugh helped me navigate those years and gave me a purpose in life.
For the most part, I have been fortunate with my cystic fibrosis in that I never needed to go into the hospital. But, that all changed in 2008. Fortunately, I was able to start using Kalydeco. My health improved, and I was able to continue my career in radio and TV.
I spent most of my life hiding the fact that I had cystic fibrosis. It was only when I fully accepted that CF was a part of me that I quit my self-destructive ways and began to enjoy life.
It's hard not to feel guilt for all those years my partner spent taking care of me as I got more and more sick from cystic fibrosis. This Valentine's Day, I'm not going to dwell on the past. I'm going to focus on how much we love and care for each other right now.
This year, I'm planning a big, beautiful queer wedding with my fiancée, Ali. Even though I felt conflicted about bringing Ali into a life with CF, she stayed by my side through some of the hardest challenges I've ever faced.
When I met my husband, who has cystic fibrosis, he was listed for a double-lung transplant. I thought I was prepared for that. I wasn't.
It might seem strange but for someone with cystic fibrosis, something as simple as a mammogram can spark joy. It means that I have lived long enough to have reach this preventive care milestone, and that is something to celebrate.