In 1993 I lost a younger brother to Cystic Fibrosis. It wasn’t until this point that my siblings and I were tested for CF. I was the only sibling diagnosed after losing a brother that I would never get to know. What was a devastating time for my family, evolved into an ongoing miracle. CF has taken its toll on my family's life from constant treatments and medications, to hospital visits and stays. My first hospitalization was at the age of 10. The next couple of hospital stays were due to my pancreas in which I had to be on liquid diets for 3 days. In 2001, with my lungs functioning at a low level and terrified with my family, I fought through my battles and came out with my lungs functioning at 104%.
By the age of 20, I was down to only three hospital visits which was great success for me. I had managed to stay healthy and strong from the years 2006-2012. I had graduated high school and moved onto college. I knew leaving for college would be an exciting but difficult time due to my illness. Throughout college I struggled to balance my time between school, medications/treatments and a social life. A constant battle between these led me to an in-home hospitalization in 2010. My lung functions dropped down to 60%. I received a PICC line and self inserted antibiotic drips every 12 hours. On top of my stressful classes and pressure to get good grades, I had to pay extra attention towards my health. Tiresome nights and exhausted days, I got through my hospitalization.
In September 2016, I was hit hard with medical insurance issues. I started drowning in medical bills. After being denied financial assistance from Kaiser and Medi-Cal, I stopped taking medications I could no longer afford. In January 2017, I was knocked down with pneumonia and hospitalized for 2 weeks. Returning to my baseline lung function, I was ready to go back to the real world. Ten days later I went back into ER with a high fever and chest pains. I was admitted for another 2 week stay in February, 2017.
Living in LA has been quite the challenge for me health wise. I came to a point where I was struggling with being hospitalized every 3-4 months. Seven PICC lines later and I finally received a port for on-going antibiotic treatments. The end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019 was an especially hard time for me as I was in and out of the hospital during the holidays. With great support from family and friends, I made it through three back to back hospital stays.
Now in 2022, I am approaching 3 years free from the hospital! I give all the praise, glory and honor to God who has completely transformed my mindset into knowing that I AM HEALED. I thank you all for your consistent donations as the Cystic Fibrosis community has truly benefited from the newest drug, Trikafta. It has brought so much hope and healing to our community and we wouldnt have been able to do it without all your love and support! My hope is to raise money for research to help the medical field develop additional drugs so that one day CF will no longer stand for Cystic Fibrosis, but for Cure Found.
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.
IMPORTANT NOTE ON ATTENDANCE AT FOUNDATION EVENTS:
Updated June 15, 2022. To reduce the risk of COVID-19 the Foundation is taking steps to host safe events for our community. Please be advised that events may be subject to change at any time based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health officials.
To minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection, we ask that attendees at CF Foundation events follow these steps:
Where mandated, practice physical distancing and maintain at least a safe 6-foot distance from persons outside of their household.
Face masks are encouraged and should be worn in accordance with local guidelines. (Note, children under two years of age should not wear masks due to safety concerns and therefore should only attend outdoor CF Foundation events where they are able to distance and stay within their family group.) NOTE: For events hosted by the CF Foundation, masks will be made available on-site, when possible.
Follow basic infection, prevention and control practices by regularly washing hands with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand gel, and by covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your inner elbow.
Persons with CF should consult their physician before participation in any in-person event as they may be at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
For indoor events, it is CFF policy to invite only one person with CF to be in-person at the event at a time. For outdoor events, people with CF should maintain a safe 6-foot distance from persons outside of their household at all times.
FOR YOUR SAFETY AND THE SAFETY OF OTHERS:
For the health and well-being of the CF community, we strongly encourage that participants be fully vaccinated and have received the CDC recommended booster shot when joining us in-person for the event.
Certain CF Foundation events may require vaccination to attend.
Participants are strongly encouraged to test within 24 hours prior of arrival at an event or meeting, or as close as possible to the time of departure (if traveling).
Please be advised certain events, localities, and venues may require you to be fully vaccinated and show proof of vaccination. We will communicate these requirements in event communications.
For events where the CF Foundation requires full vaccination, meeting participants must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at least two weeks before the date on which you will first attend the meeting. Registration and attendance at such events may require agreement to health and safety protocols and/or COVID liability waivers.
We are counting on the fact that you appreciate the potential consequences of exposing members of the CF community to COVID-19 and will not attend an event if you test positive, or have been recently exposed to COVID-19.
We cannot guarantee that all people present at the event, including participants, sponsors, volunteers, vendors, or others, have been fully vaccinated.