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.
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.
Having cystic fibrosis interfered with many of my romantic relationships and I was hesitant to disclose it. But, then I met somebody who accepted me and my CF.
As someone with cystic fibrosis, I struggled with the fact that I might be a burden to those who helped care for me. Things changed when I married Ramón and learned the true meaning of caregiving.
As an adult with cystic fibrosis, I know I am blessed to be healthy right now. I find joy in spreading awareness of CF and encouraging others to follow their dreams no matter what.
A chance meeting at a CF conference 12 years ago gave me one of the most valuable gifts: my CF Mama friend group. Since then, we’ve invested time in our friendship and supported each other through the laughs and the tears.
My friendship with Judy, who had cystic fibrosis, helped me see how I could accomplish my career goals despite my own chronic illness. Unfortunately, she died six years ago, but her inspiration lives on, and I know she would be proud of me.
Despite my cystic fibrosis, my relationship with my daughter continues to grow stronger each time we are together. She doesn't care about what I can or can't do physically. She just loves me unconditionally.