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 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.
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.
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.