ETHAN’S TEAM 2019
May 19 – Van Saun Park, Paramus
I’ve had a busy year, and I am extremely grateful that my health continues to be stable. After finishing my first year of college, I worked hard to get my real estate license in both NJ & NY. This gives me the opportunity to learn from and work for my dad, and add a line to my resume. At college I’m settled in the business department, where I’m focused on finance and economics. I’m really enjoying my time at Messiah. I continue to be involved with the club Ultimate Frisbee team, and I’ve taken a leadership role with the partnered off-campus organization Young Life. I am a volunteer Wyldlife middle school leader where I organize activities, share my faith, and share my story living with CF.
In January, my family purchased a seasonal lodging business in the Adirondacks (Steamboat Landing, Blue Mountain Lake, NY). This has probably been most exciting event this year for me, as I am working when I can on the preparations for the upcoming season and will be managing the business this summer.
However, in the midst of everything, my health has continued to be the priority. In a week’s time, I take about 200 pills and have about 21 nebulized treatments. I spend about 1 ½ hours total each day in my vest which helps clear my lungs. I do my best to stay active and exercise, which also benefits my overall health. Every month I meet with an off-campus nurse to have the port flushed in my chest. I did not need any iv medications this past year, but it is vital to keep the port functioning for when it is needed. I have stayed ‘healthy’ but the reality is, my lungs are constantly fighting bacterial infections. I can’t take a day off from CF.
I think the most challenging thing for me right now with Cystic Fibrosis is time management, and making decisions that could negatively impact my health (ie. making housing/dorm choices, traveling, not getting enough rest, skipping a treatment). I am really thankful that the biggest challenge right now is not that I am laid up in the hospital or being held back from having a college experience. This could shift quickly, and I don’t take my current health status for granted.
I believe that the work of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) has played a significant role in my ability to attend college. Although CF is still taking many lives too early, I do feel that there are many of us who are able to move forward because of the care and medications that we have. Much of that has to do with the work of the CFF. I really trust that they are committed to continuing the research and development of treatments and working towards a cure. I can live with confidence knowing there are people working really hard to find answers and solutions in regards to my illness. They give hope to people like myself living with CF.
People ask me what has made the biggest difference for me, as a person growing up and living with CF. One of my answers has always been that I have an incredible community that has supported me, one that has shown support for our CFF events. Cornhole for a Cure (May 18th) and Great Strides are a highpoint of my year. Your support means more than I could ever express. We need to continue this fundraising for the 70,000 people worldwide (30,000 in the US alone) living with CF.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
For more information:
Jeff & Sarah Vander Molen
973-519-6645 (Sarah’s Cell)