In a Busy Life, Wendy Makes Time for Great Strides

Wendy, a 27-year-old graduate from the University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh, works a full-time job, hosts a local radio show, trains her own service dog, and plays every instrument she can get her hands on. And, she has been battling cystic fibrosis ever since she was 6 weeks old – something that most people tend to forget after spending time with her.

“Even with the increasing demand that CF can present, I am not letting it keep me from the adventures I want to have,” she said. “I am truly living life.”


From her elementary school days hosting penny wars in her classroom, to her current speaking engagements at the Wisconsin Chapter’s Great Strides walk, Wendy has been an active participant in the fight against CF for as long as she can remember. “Everyone whom I’ve met through Great Strides has been very kind, which has made coming back each year super easy – it’s the people around you who make it amazing,” she said.

Apart from fundraising, Wendy writes a blog called “The Living Breathing Wendy” and started a YouTube channel a couple of years ago as an outlet to share her experiences and express how important it is to live as if she didn’t have CF.

Wendy has been able to live her life more fully by depending on a loyal friend – her service dog, Finn.  “Finn has helped me when I am especially tired, and with some of the medical challenges I have with CF,” she says. “One time when I was in the hospital, the idea occurred to me to train him to lighten my load with packs.  Growing up we’d go to the farmers market and my mom would put saddle bags on our dog to carry groceries -- it’s kind of the same idea,” she says with a smile. “It is the love and support I receive from Finn, family, friends, and this community that is helping me stay strong in this fight. For that I am grateful.”