There are a lot of misconceptions about illnesses. For one, you're supposed to look sick -- or like other people's perception of a sick person. Once I started to doubt myself and the gravity of my illness, I began internalizing a whole lot of guilt.
Watching a Bruce Lee movie inspired me to live my life on my terms.
Growing up, Keenan Flynn rejected what he saw as negative messages surrounding cystic fibrosis. Keenan credits a healthy mental attitude, and a non-acceptance of the negative messages about his health, for his physical development.
All my life I wanted an answer to why I was so sick. Then I got it, in the form of a CF diagnosis.
My struggle to cope with my CF brought me to some dark places. The support of my care team helped me come to the light.
Finding a Balance Between CF and High School
In a culture flooded with advertisements about the perfect body, secret weight-loss tricks and fad diets, our cultural ideals of weight are often skewed to an image that is far from healthy.
When I was 13, my family went from having two seemingly normal kids to two CF patients in a manner of a few short months -- and boy, did it change everything. Because of my late diagnosis, I faced a unique set of challenges that helped make me the strong person I am today.
Time after time, cystic fibrosis has shown me that what I thought was important could change with changing circumstances.
After turning 60, I decided to mark the milestone by creating a “living list,” 60 things I could do to raise awareness and money for cystic fibrosis care.