Why I Cycle: CF Cycle for Life Spotlight Series
The CF Cycle for Life Spotlight Series features individuals who inspire and bring hope to their local CF community and raise funds and awareness for cystic fibrosis – all while cycling through some of the most scenic cities and trails in the nation. We hope these stories give you insight into the determination and passion of these cyclists, and that you consider finding a ride near today! Together, we can pedal towards a cure for cystic fibrosis.
Meet CF Cycle for Life Local Ambassador, Megan Barlow
Diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at five years old, 27-year-old Megan Barlow has never let her disease stop her from doing the things she loves, especially participating in sports. “I’ve always been super active and attribute my overall good health to that,” Megan said. “Because of that, I was lucky that my CF story was not much of a story until a few years ago.”
It wasn’t until recently that she fully felt the impact of the disease on her daily life. “In 2016, I found out that I had lesions in my lungs caused by MAC bacteria, and I would have to make my first hospital visit and receive my first-ever round of IVs.” Since then, CF has caused Megan’s life to be a little bit of a rollercoaster, including months of IV treatments, rounds of antibiotics, and hospital visits. “Throughout all of this though, I remained active, and focused on staying positive -- I didn't miss out on any aspect of my life, and I just kept fighting. And now, the fight will only continue.”
Although she didn’t have much experience cycling before her first CF Cycle for Life, her dad picked up the hobby and they began cycling together. “Being an athlete and a competitor, a 30-mile bike ride seemed like just the right event to push myself physically and encourage my friends to get involved as well. We all enjoy this event so much; this will be my third year at CF Cycle for Life.”
Her first CF Cycle for Life event in 2017 came at a turning point in her health, when two days before, she received news that she would need to go into the hospital for the first time. “My first race was definitely physically exhausting, but mentally rewarding,” said Megan. “Being able to push myself through that race with my closest friends by my side, all while raising money for CF was the best thing to happen after a tough weekend.”
This year Megan proudly serves as the Greater New Jersey chapter’s CF Cycle for Life Ambassador and helps promote the event on social media and advocate for the CF community. “It's an amazing goal to set for anyone with CF who wants a new challenge that will help make their lungs healthier. And, to do it with friends is incredibly rewarding! I am so happy that I am able to be the face of this event and show the world that CF does not hold me back, it only pushes me to fight harder.”
In This Section
Why I Cycle
Megan Barlow, Greater New Jersey chapter’s CF Cycle for Life Ambassador, cycles alongside family and friends to help keep her lungs healthy and fight towards a cure for cystic fibrosis.
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