In May of 2013, my husband and I were blessed to welcome our second daughter, Tamsyn Marie Bjorn, into our family. The joy we felt at her arrival was incredible. She was as sweet and precious as her sister had also been on a similar day in May four years earlier. In the first few weeks of her life, Tamsyn was the perfect child. By three weeks she was only waking up once a night. Any of you who value sleep like we do will understand why this was such a blessing.
However, at her check-ups, the doctor began expressing some concern about Tamsyn's weight. She had lost about a pound in the hospital and still had not returned to her birth weight. Her two week appointment (which did not happen until three and a half weeks) began to answer some questions. The nurse came in to repeat the PKU screening test (heel prick) on Tamsyn. I asked why she needed to do that again as she had already been tested in the hospital. She casually replied that one of her results had been inconclusive and therefore more testing was needed. Being overly cautious, I inquired about the particular results. She pulled up the report and showed me that Tamsyn's IRT level was elevated. Right, because I know what IRT means? I continued scanning the page and saw the words that would change my life forever. Elevated IRT levels can be an indicator of cystic fibrosis. I felt panicked and overwhelmed. The nurse's reassurance that a lot of false positives are reported did not help to quell the horror rising in my throat. On the way home I called my aunt to relay the news. We knew then that whatever the results we would love Tamsyn just as much as always.
Two weeks later our answer came. After another elevated IRT, Tamsyn was referred for a sweat test where her diagnosis of cystic fibrosis was confirmed. I will not elaborate on the devastation of that time. It was very hard for our family to come to terms with Tamsyn's condition, but we have. Children always change the lives of their parents, and in that sense Tamsyn is no different. The medications and routines of her daily life are second nature to us now. Since her initial diagnosis almost six years ago, Tamsyn has continued to grow and is doing very well, and last year she became a big sister! She is loving her new role, for the most part. We know that there will be tough times ahead, but we have decided to fight back the only way we can, through love, hope and action. This will be our sixth walk for Tamsyn and all of the other cf-ers out there. Sometimes the road of life puts a very clear and drastic turn in the path ahead of us, but we will face this new journey strong in the belief that a cure will be found. This May we walk to help others find it.
There are approximately 30,000 Americans living with cystic fibrosis. They are moms, dads, sisters, brothers, daughters, sons, friends and co-workers who struggle every day just to breathe. I walk for them and hope you will support me in my efforts.
Real progress has been made in the search for a cure, but the lives of people with CF are still cut far too short. There still is no cure for this devastating disease. By walking today, I am helping add tomorrows to the lives of people living with cystic fibrosis. Will you join me? Support me by making a donation to my Great Strides fundraising campaign today!
Great Strides is a fun, family-friendly event that raises awareness and support for people with CF and their families.
Please support me!
Help me reach my fundraising goal by donating to my Great Strides fundraising campaign. Your gift will help add tomorrows to the lives of people with cystic fibrosis by supporting life-saving research and medical progress. Your gift is 100-percent tax deductible.