"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.

Brian Johnson

Brian's Story

I am 37 years old and I was diagnosed with CF at the age of seven in 1979. I grew up in South Georgia, where I was one of three boys and the only with CF. This did not hold me back, I was involved in pretty much every sport, such as baseball, basketball and soccer, and I’ve always been a huge football fan! I led a fairly normal life growing up. My brothers took no pity and that was the best thing for me. I also believe I grew up quickly and had to deal with my responsibilities with staying compliant. I was very active growing up and didn’t need a hospital visit until I was 23.

Attending Valdasta State University was very rewarding for me. I earned a bachelors degree in business administration and business management in 1996, and I also met my wife, Christie. I’m now a father to a beautiful soon-to-be three-year-old daughter, Hayden. Being a husband and a father, along with holding a full-time job, can be difficult, but it has truly been a blessing.

Brian's Mission

About eight months ago, I hit a very dark period of my life, and it wasn’t until I was driving down the road and saw a motorcycle and got an idea in my head that my whole life changed. I had never ridden a bike before, but it was like a sign that this was going to be my mission. I started an organization called CF Riders, and our mission is to ride across the country while spreading a message of inspiration and hope. The message I would like to extend is that you are not bound by CF.

I also live life on a daily basis by a quote that I created. I always say, “Dream big, ride free, breathe easy.” To me, this means I am now following my dream, I am getting on a bike and not holding back and breathing easy while living life with the deadly disease cystic fibrosis. I will be leaving for my journey on April 15, 2011, with my wife and daughter alongside me. I hope to gain many followers along my journey, and together we can all beat CF.

I have found my calling in life, and I can only hope the CF Riders will spread awareness around the country and hopefully one day play a role in CF standing for “cure found.” I hope my story will show others that CF does not hold you back from everything; I see it as a positive in my life. I am 37 years old ,and I am proud to live each day to the fullest with my wife and daughter.

A Fun Fact About Brian: His favorite food is sushi.

Favorite Holiday: Christmas

Favorite Pastime: Baseball

Favorite Movie: Forrest Gump

One Word That Describes You: Perseverance

Role Models: Ronnie Sharpe and Jerry Cahill

Dream Vacation: Australia

You can find Brian on ... Facebook, Twitter, cysticfibrosis.com and CFsocial.net

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