When I decided to study abroad in 1974, I also decided that I would not allow CF to stop me from living my life to the fullest.
My oldest son, Nathan, was 18 years old when he was finally diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. While we both had been waiting a long time to get an answer to what had been plaguing him, I'd been hoping and praying that he'd escape the CF sentence. The diagnosis, however, did not come as a surprise because exactly 35 days earlier, my younger son, Caleb, at 14 years, had already been diagnosed with CF.
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.
Cystic fibrosis can't take living away, especially when one loves life!
I knew that I needed to make a change when I began checking on home from the office and checking on work at odd hours from home.
While I am not grateful for having cystic fibrosis and cystic fibrosis-related diabetes, I have no doubt that if it weren't for me having CF, I would not have become the person that I am today.
All my life I wanted an answer to why I was so sick. Then I got it, in the form of a CF diagnosis.
There have been a few moments over the past four years that have provided us with perfect opportunities to give both of our kids a fuller understanding of the multifaceted nature of cystic fibrosis.
When our son was diagnosed with CF, the clinic director sat with me for hours answering my questions. Since that day, I have wanted to bottle up his advice and become a voice of encouragement for new CF parents.
When I was diagnosed with CF at 22, I was relieved. I could start treating the disease we'd been trying to identify for years. But after the initial excitement, I started facing issues of denial, anger and confusion…so I ran.