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.
This has been a tough year for me physically, financially and emotionally, although I have been blessed with the best support. I am reaching out again asking family and friends to donate to the CF Foundation to help my cysters and fibros who also struggle with and battle this disease. 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.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, indoor events sponsored by the CF Foundation are strictly prohibited at this time. Scheduled outdoor events must adhere to strict requirements to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection. Events may be subject to change at any time based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health officials.
IMPORTANT NOTE ON ATTENDANCE AT OUTDOOR FOUNDATION EVENTS:
To minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection, attendees at CF Foundation events must adhere to the following requirements:
Practice physical distancing and maintain at least a safe 6-foot distance from persons outside of their household at all times
Face masks strongly encouraged and expected to 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 not attend CF Foundation events where there is risk of interacting with someone outside of their household.)
Follow basic infection, prevention and control practices by regularly washing hands with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand gel, 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. People with CF should maintain a safe 6-foot distance from persons outside of their household at all times.