It’s Katie Bieler here! I am 25 years old, the youngest of five children and the only one with cystic fibrosis. I was born and raised in the heart of Dallas, Texas. And, when I was born, it became clear to my mom (who at the time was a pediatric ICU nurse) something was a little different. I coughed like a seal (what’s not cute about that), I preferred a high carb low fat formula (because my stomach got super sick otherwise), appeared to have asthma (which pediatricians are reluctant to diagnosis before the age of three), and sweat so much my skin was like a “salt lick” for farm animals. My pediatrician thought maybe I had polyps, and that was what was causing my barking seal cough, or maybe chronic bronchitis, and then …I was diagnosed with a right middle lobe pneumonia. A very unusual diagnosis in a child. I was treated with steroids and antibiotics but nothing really changed.
Finally, my mom suggested (after conferring with a couple close family friends who were both in the medical field) that I have a sweat test performed for cystic fibrosis. And then it all began – I did have cystic fibrosis and this answered so many questions of why I was small, why I tasted like salt, why I didn’t like high fat foods, and why I had the barking seal cough. Finally, my parents had some answers.
Shortly after my diagnosis, I was admitted to Children’s Health for a “clean up” - intravenous antibiotics and a dose of steroids. My entire family learned how to help me with my treatments (twice a day) and then the real journey began.
There are approximately 30,000 Americans living with cystic fibrosis - moms, dads, sisters, brothers, daughters, sons, and friends who struggle every day just to breathe. We are at a pivotal moment in the history of cystic fibrosis and your support matters. Your gift will help add tomorrows to the lives of people with cystic fibrosis by supporting groundbreaking research and medical progress towards a cure. WE CANNOT STOP NOW because a 90% benefit to the CF population isn't 100%.
THE TIME IS NOW, JOIN ME AND MY KREW & LET'S MAKE "CF" STAND FOR CURE FOUND!