Katy Starck-Monte was born in 1984 and was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis just after her first birthday. At the time she was diagnosed, the median age of death for females with CF was 19. Katy’s parents and family were determined to beat those odds. From the time she was diagnosed until her first lung transplant, Katy never missed a day of intensive chest physiotherapy, aimed at keeping her diseased lungs clear of the mucus that ailed them. She was extremely diligent about taking all of her daily medications – at 5 years old Katy could swallow 6-8 pills at a time, without even blinking. These measures although inherent to her existence, alone don’t account for her survival. Katy’s attitude about her illness has helped her to persevere through the years. She decided at an early age that she was not going to let her illness define or limit her. Even though her childhood, adolescence and young adult life were often disrupted by hospitalizations or home IV therapy, Katy played sports, joined student council, participated in extra-curricular activities and went away to college. After spending much of her life in the hospital, she was inspired to become a registered nurse, a goal which she achieved in 2008. As a life-long patient, she brings a unique perspective to her profession, one that each patient she cares for benefits from. In 2011, after a rapid decline in her lung function she received a double lung transplant. Over the next few years, Katy unfortunately developed kidney failure and chronic rejection of her lungs. In 2014 she received a kidney transplant from her sister, and in 2015, she received a 2nd double lung transplant.
Today, Katy is focused on her exercise program to keep her lungs in great shape, making memories with her husband and family, and spends her free time continuing to be a strong member of the CF community and promoting organ donation.
As an active member in the CF community for more than 15 years, she chairs a team at the annual Great Strides a Walk to Cure Cystic Fibrosis. To date her team has raised almost $200,000. She is also an active member of the Boomer Esiason Young Professional Committee, where they focus on raising money through various different events to help support the CF community. In late 2014 she participated in a social media campaign that was launched by a fellow CF patient called ‘OOMPHFORKATY’. The campaign gained local and national media attention, raising awareness for cystic fibrosis and highlighting the desperate need for people to say YES to organ donation.