This CF letter has become our annual “year-in-review”. And oh what a year. Maia graduated from Waukee High School last May. She spent her summer interning at a vet clinic and getting ready to start Luther in the fall. She snuck in a graduation trip to Disney in June, some pontooning up at my parents in July, and her first triathlon in August. Then we took her up to school at the end of August and she began her college adventure.
And what an adventure it has been. College is hard enough, but throw in twice-a-day swim practice and managing CF, and Maia’s health began to suffer. She was having a very hard time getting in enough calories and was losing weight. She also was fighting a couple of bacteria. We did manage to squash the aspergillus that was mentioned in last year’s letter, but not the bacteria. By November, she came home for a bronchoscopy and went into the hospital a week later. She was on IV’s and they put in an NG tube to help with the weight. She ended up finishing out her fall semester from home. Luther was so understanding and willing to work with Maia. She finished the semester on the Dean’s List! That hospital stay was incredibly tough, but it saved her life.
Since then, Maia was able to go on the swim team’s training trip to Coronado over Christmas Break. Someone is now a big beach fan. She went back to campus for J-Term and continued swimming with the NG Tube! She swam in the Conference Championship Meet after being back in the pool for only six weeks. She made finals in all her events, took 4th in the 500 and 200, and podiumed with a 1st in the 800 Free Relay. It was amazing to watch her resilience and dedication to her health, her team, and a sport she loves. During all of this, Maia realized that she needed the extra calories from the NG Tube and made the decision to put in a more permanent G-Tube. This has really helped turn-around her lung function and she has had two cultures free from the crappy bacteria she’s been battling the past few years.
Maia is starting to plan for her Sophomore year. She is still a biology major, but is contemplating chemistry and even math! She will be home for the summer and it will be nice to have my swimming carpool buddy back. I am so excited that we have a new tool to help keep her healthy. We talk about the CF Foundation and their research to find a cure, but it is just as important that their science is helping Maia live a better life now. They continue to search for ways to treat bacteria and how to keep everyone with CF as healthy as possible.
If you are able, please consider making a donation by May 31st . Thank you all for supporting this important cause!