I have never let Cystic Fibrosis define how I live my life. I was diagnosed at six months old, and since then, I have tried to live as normal of a life as possible. Despite daily vest treatments, going on and off IV medication, periodically sleeping with oxygen, and lengthy hospital stays, I have continued to live a life with purpose.
In the face of my complications, I continue to teach high school students, even if it means wearing a fanny-pack with an IV pump. I chase my toddlers, Avery and Rowan, even if it means feeling winded. I take walks with my wife, Annie, even though strangers will stare at me while I'm coughing and spitting up phlegm. While my disease is invisible most of the time, it is in these circumstances I am reminded that CF does impact me.
Cystic Fibrosis has had a profound impact on me. I use the positive and negative aspects of CF as motivation to beat the odds that are stacked against me. The tough times make me stronger. I fight everyday to breathe, to live fearlessly, to honor my brother Kyle, and to inspire those around me.
Currently, a new medication is being developed that may target my specific genotype. It should be available in 2020. While it will not cure CF, it will allow my cells to function properly and it will improve my lung function by 10 - 15%. This is one more milestone that I am fortunate enough to experience. I am confident that a cure will be found within my lifetime.