Cystic Fibrosis Podcast 116: Joe Sleeper, Stepping Up and Taking Control of Life with CF

Joe, now 33 years old, was diagnosed with CF at age 5, and also had a sister who was diagnosed with CF. He currently resides in Norfolk, Virginia with his fiancé Jennifer with whom he shares a love of riding motorcycles. Joe works as a Director of IT and enjoys practicing photography on the side.

Joe Sleeper is LIVING BREATHING SUCCEEDING and determined that he WILL NOT FAIL…

  • Joe has never defined himself by his cystic fibrosis.
  • After heading a rebellious downward spiral in his teen years, he regrouped and took control of his CF after his sister passed away from the disease. “I had to regroup and take control of my life when my sister was gone. I was always sick with infections, my weight dropped to 118 pounds, and my PFTs were in the 20s… not a good thing,” stated Joe.
  • “I wanted to change… I did NOT want to be sick… the light bulb went on in my head and I took control. I went to Barnes & Noble and started looking at fitness magazines and started reading Muscle Magazine. I also started going to the gym and started lifting weights,” states Joe.
  • Joe noticed he started gaining weight in a few weeks and after several months his PFT’s went up. “Over time I gained over 50 pounds and my PFT’s went from 20% to 58%.”
  • Joe’s biggest challenge with CF is time management but he is confident that he will continue to “Breathe Easy” with his fiancée, Jennifer. – “My greatest support system along with my parents”.
  • “Being disciplined with my CF treatments and my exercise is an investment I make so I can enjoy life” states Joe.
  • Joe’s recommendations to young people with CF rebelling like he did: “CF today is a different game – It’s NOT a loosing game. You can and will live well past 30 years old. YOU are NORMAL and YOU are worth it!
  • What Joe wants people to know about him: “I am not a CF patient, I am just Joe, a guy that love riding motorcycles.

Please visit to hear the entire podcast.

This “LIVING. BREATHING. SUCCEEDING.” Podcast/Vodcast is made possible through an unrestricted educational grant from Genentech to the Boomer Esiason Foundation.