“Think like a child would – they never take no for an answer.”
I spent most of my youth denying the fact that I had cystic fibrosis – to myself and to everyone around me. I was diagnosed at the age of nine, given a life expectancy of 18, and acted defiantly, ignoring the medical recommendations given to me. I hated coughing in front of classmates and friends and worked hard to ignore my disease while trying to fit in with all of the “normal” kids.
As I grew and matured, I came to the realization that my disease, my challenges were what would make me unique and give me strength. I began to appreciate my life and became relentlessly stubborn about letting nothing stand in my way of living my life the way I wanted.
I have been medically compliant and constantly active for years. I always tell people that exercise saved my life. I run 3 ½ miles every day, lift weights, play tennis, and do all of my treatments and take my medications regularly. I have found that setting goals – both big and small – has enabled me to stay competitive and constantly challenge myself. My biggest goal is to share my story and inspire people to become the best that they can be. In spite of, or more accurately, because of my disease, I have been able to write a book and start my own skin care business – both business ventures that I went into knowing that I would not take no for an answer.
I am blessed to have a supportive husband, loving family, and a wonderful CF clinic and doctors who listen to my concerns and guide me through all of the difficult issues of CF. I encourage everyone to live by my favorite line from my favorite movie, The Shawshank Redemption, “Gey busy living or get busy dying.”
I enjoy… golfing, cooking, and taking road trips with my husband.
Holiday: 4th of July
Movie: Shawshank Redemption
Musical Group: Eagles
Athlete: Ernie Els
If I could give someone recently diagnosed with CF any advice, it would be… Stay vigilant. Stay active. Stay busy. Focus on positive goals. Most importantly, exercise!