At age 5, I was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis (CF). I heard from a young age that I would be looking at a dramatically decreased lifespan. I frequently heard that it could mean I might only live into my teenage years. Knowing others with CF, which included a cousin of mine who passed away years ago from CF at the young age of 21, the prospect of a shortened life seemed very real and quite terrifying.
Nonetheless, here I am about to turn 26 in May. I graduated from the Washington & Lee University School of Law in May 2021 and am currently working for a law firm called Hirschler, where I practice commercial real estate and assist clients on land use and zoning matters. I love to exercise so that I always keep both my mind and body healthy. Having never been hospitalized with CF, my exercise routine is part of why I am so healthy today.
However, the bigger explanation for why I am so healthy is due to the incredible advancements in medical care for those of us living with CF. Data from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) shows that people born within my birth year bracket (1995-1999) have an average life expectancy of 32. Now, children born in the age bracket of 2015-2019 have an average life expectancy of 46. That is an incredible amount of advancement for such a short amount of time.
Despite this, there is still no cure for this devastating disease. The data reflects the grim reality that many lives are cut short. There are approximately 30,000 Americans living with CF. Although I may be an exception with my health, I walk and fundraise for these people. I walk and fundraise for people like my cousin – whose lives were cut far too short.
We must keep fighting to save lives. With your help, we can invest our resources into continued research to ensure that we can one day make CF stand for Cure Found.
Thank you for reading my story and for your support!