I'm Susie! I'm a daughter, a wife, a mom, and two years ago, I became one of only a handful of people in the country diagnosed with cystic fibrosis as an adult. CF is a progressive, genetic disease that affects the lungs, pancreas and other organs in the body. It causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time. It causes infertility and greatly reduces life expectancy.
I was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at the age of 29 after struggling with infertility for quite some time. Growing up, I had many respiratory issues and was even hospitalized as a child with pneumonia. Despite my parents' efforts to get me tested for CF, the doctors refused to do so, as I appeared to be "thriving" otherwise. As I grew up, I was told I had asthma and treated my lungs as such. Then I found Irish stepdancing and became addicted. I would dance every day for hours on end. Little did I know that my dancing obsession was what was keeping my lungs clear and healthy!
Once I graduated law school and passed the bar, I stopped dancing as much and felt my lung function decrease, but paid little attention to it. As the years went on, I also began to struggle with GI issues--another symptom of CF--but after years with numerous specialists, the CF remained undiagnosed and I was left with more questions than answers. It wasn't until after a year of trying to get pregnant without success that I was sent to a fertility clinic who ran a battery of tests including a genetic test. In August of 2017, I learned of my CF diagnosis and all that came with it.
My life has changed, in some ways for the better and in some ways for the worse. I have to do airway clearance twice a day, which is time consuming, but it keeps me healthy; I take dozens of meds, which can get tiresome at times, but again...it keeps me healthy. But the true rainbow to this story is that on December 11, 2018, after several fertility treatments, my husband, Jeff, and I welcomed our true miracle baby, Joey, to the world. He is the reason I wake up in the morning and do my treatments daily. He is the reason I stride because I want to add more tomorrows to our future together!
Please join me and help support my fundraising goal. We've already broken our first goal and are on to our second! With your help, we can be the top team at Danbury's Great Strides!
Real progress has been made for those who have CF, but there is still no cure for this devastating disease and many lives are cut far too short. We’ve come so far, but there’s still so much work to do. I will not stop striding until all those with CF have a cure. Will you join me? Please consider donating to my Great Strides fundraising campaign today!
We are at a pivotal moment in the history of cystic fibrosis and your support matters. Your gift will help add tomorrows to the lives of people with cystic fibrosis by supporting groundbreaking research and medical progress towards a cure. Please help me reach my fundraising goal!