Marsha's Story

When I was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at one year old, the doctors told my parents that I would live to be 14. In spite of this prognosis, my parents always made me feel as normal as possible. I grew up in Pittsburgh, leading a typical life. I had a small group of very close friends and was even voted to Prom Court my senior year! I loved art classes and writing and even ran track for a year.

Marsha on Staying Healthy

As I got older, I realized how important medical compliance and exercise are to staying healthy. Today, I practice stretching from the Miranda Esmonde-White program, do resistance workouts, and walk my two adopted dogs daily. Even though climate has a significant impact on my health, I try to exercise no matter what that weather is like.

Marsha on Speaking Up

My most difficult day with cystic fibrosis came when I was admitted into the hospital with a partially collapsed lung. I had been there for a few days, constantly listening to the doctors going back and forth with treatment ideas, but never having them speak with me. Eventually, I became more outspoken about my treatments, researched other hospitals, and made my own appointments. One thing that I have learned from my CF is to be outspoken, knowledgeable and involved in my own treatments.

Marsha on Family and Adoption

I am now 46 years old and married to the love of my life, with whom I have two adopted sons. Because of the difficulties we went through with the domestic adoption process, we decided to proceed with an international adoption. We traveled to Siberia twice, where we adopted Yuri and Alec, brothers who are 15 months apart. I am now writing a non-fiction novel entitled “Irish Twins from Siberia,” which tells the story of our adoption experience.

Marsha's Advice

I just want to tell all people affected by cystic fibrosis to always hope for the best, expect the worst, and know that things will fall in between. Never live in denial of the disease – accept it, and be aware and reasonable – and always think to yourself that you can’t quit livin’.

Favorite Color: Blue
Dream Vacation: Italy
Favorite Food: Italian
Favorite Holiday: The anniversary of my family – October 20
Favorite Movie: Blindside
Favorite Musical Artist: Lenny Kravitz
Favorite Sport: Pittsburgh Steelers football
One Word to Describe Me: Thoughtful
Role Models: My parents, who have been married for 50 years
You can find Marsha at:

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