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Metro DC Xtreme Hike

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My Xtreme Hike Story

  • Brynn & Ace

“Cystic fibrosis is scary," Brynn recently said. 

Really? I thought. It's scary for the parents, not for the kids. 

At least that was my take. Brynn's always so apathetic about it.

The "scary" comment came when I asked her this: “If you could get rid of 1 thing with CF, what would it be?”

Something she could ditch forever? I already knew the answer: Her Vest.

Zilla hates using the vest each day. Just reminding her -- nagging her daily -- is a verbal blowtorch near dry tinder.

But I was wrong. Instead she said, "I'd get rid of the fear factor, about the next time I'm sick. I worry about how bad it'll be, if I'll be in the hospital, if it'll have lasting effects. I wish the scariness would go away.”

Brynn... scared?

She masks it well. When doctors ask questions, Zilla responds grudgingly, with the same terse attitude I reserve for telemarketers during dinner. At home, she's blasé about taking her pills. And she'd rather wage an hour verbal war, than use her vest for 30 minutes.

It's easy to believe that Brynn isn't health conscious. It turns out, she thinks about it all the time.

She just doesn't want to talk about it.

She'll jabber on about any subject other than CF... especially horse-related. Specifically Ace-related. How he's feeling, what's he's eating, if Ace was lazy under saddle, or bucking and "spicy." If he should travel in bandages or boots. And does Ace look better in the red ear bonnet, or red with black trim?

As Brynn noted, she has a say with horses; she's not an authority on medical research. "CF is a waiting game. I have to rely on others to find ways to improve my health. And waiting for a solution is hard." Barely pausing, she added, "Ace really needs a new saddle pad. When can we get that?"

Just a few decades ago, CF patients rarely lived beyond their teenage years. Today, more than 60% of those with CF are adults. You can be part of this change by supporting the CF Foundation. Every donation counts! Thanks, for your past and continuing support of the CFF!



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