"CF may be a part of you, but do not let it define you."
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.

Elizabeth Clark

Elizabeth's Story

I am a single mother of three children, two of whom have cystic fibrosis. My son, Jack, was diagnosed at seven months, while I was pregnant with my youngest daughter, Kate, who was also eventually diagnosed with CF. While my situation can be difficult, I am fortunate to live in an extremely supportive community and to have three children who support each other through life.

Elizabeth on Parenting Kids with CF

Raising two children with CF has changed my perspective as a parent. I look forward to every day I have with my children and have come to realize that when a child has CF, the whole family lives with it as well.

I have made it a point to raise my children to grow and be self sufficient – encouraging both Jack and Kate to take more responsibility for their medications and treatments as they grow older. Jack supplements his medical treatments by playing baseball, skiing, snowboarding, and, his favorite, skate boarding. Kate stays active by participating in theatre. I am so proud of my children for staying active in spite of their disease.

I have learned to be more courageous by raising Jack and Kate and watching them stay strong. They have taught me to appreciate what my family has every single day. We love spending time together at home, but also take advantage of Jack and Kate’s good days by going on family skiing and snowboarding trips.

My oldest daughter, Samantha, has become a rock for the entire family. She supports her younger siblings and I am proud to see the young woman she has become. I look forward to seeing all of my children grow and I hope to one day attend every single one of their college graduations.

Favorite Holiday: Halloween

Favorite Food: Linguine and clam sauce

Favorite Pastime: Reading

Favorite Music: U2 

Favorite Color: Green 

Role Model: Frank Deford, sportswriter

Special Quote: “Every man dies but not every man lives.” 

Dream Vacation: Atlantis, Bahamas (kids’ dream)

You can find Elizabeth on: cysticfibrosis.com, Facebook, blog and Twitter