"I try to reassure everyone who has been affected by this disease that CF isn't the end of the world if you don't want it to be."
The experience of living with cystic fibrosis is markedly different today than it was decades ago. Thanks to the discovery of the CF gene, the availability of effective drug therapies and advances in technology, the 30,000 Americans who deal with the disease day in and day out are living longer and fuller lives. In a word, they are thriving.

Chad Brown

Chad Brown, 28, is studying mechanical engineering at Seattle University. He is the recipient of the BEF Scholarship and the Sacks for CF Scholarship.

Chad’s Story

“I was diagnosed with CF when I was only one day old. I was always treated very differently and in many ways babied. This temporarily helped me cope with my disease, but it eventually took a negative toll on me. I really was not affected by CF until I was about 21. It was all downhill from there for four years. As a result of not taking care of myself, I was in and out of the hospital and was eventually put on the transplant list. I later moved to Seattle, where my life began to change. With the help from the doctors at the University of Washington Medical Center, I was able to get a new lease on life. The thing that made the biggest impact on me was being disciplined with my treatments and exercise.”

On Staying Healthy

“Swimming has kept me alive and healthy. When I first started swimming, I could barely swim a lap. I now swim five days a week for about 45 minutes each time and am feeling great!”

A Fun Fact About Chad

His favorite pastime is going to baseball games, and his favorite movie is Field of Dreams.

Because of BEF

“I was able to go to Seattle University and pursue a degree in mechanical engineering. I was awarded a $10,000 [Sacks for CF] scholarship that helped ease the burden of tuition and living costs. Before I was awarded the scholarship, I was working full-time while I was going to Seattle Central Community College full-time. I was also trying to keep myself healthy by doing my breathing treatments every day, eating right, and trying to swim at least four times a week. The burden was becoming too much to handle. When I received my acceptance letter to Seattle University, I was concerned with how I was going to pay for it. A few days later, I got the call from BEF informing me about the scholarship; it was one of the best days of my life! It was the first time I felt like I had someone on my side and there to help me in the struggles that come with living with cystic fibrosis. It is because of that scholarship that I was able to cut back on my workload and concentrate on my schoolwork more, and even get a little R&R. Now I am only a year away from graduation and staring at a future that I never before could have imagined!”

Favorite Holiday: Thanksgiving
Favorite Food: Chicken
Favorite Pastime: Going to baseball games
One Word to Describe You: Committed
Favorite Movie: Field of Dreams
Favorite Music: Blues
Dream Vacation: Germany