Cystic Fibrosis Podcast 97: Gunnar Esiason – College Life and CF

Gunnar Esiason, a 19-year-old with cystic fibrosis, is a sophomore majoring in English at Boston College. Gunnar is physically active in intramural sports, works at being compliant, and loves college life.

  • Gunnar was diagnosed with CF at the age of two. He had a normal childhood and played lacrosse, baseball, football and ice hockey. Gunnar, despite the usual frustrations, never lets CF get in his way from leading a normal life.
  • Gunnar feels very comfortable living with roommates in a dorm setting and sharing about cystic fibrosis. “Having roommates just adds to the whole college experience … I would not do it any other way,” he says.
  • “Going away to college has taught me to be more independent, and be responsible for doing my medications, airway clearance, getting enough rest, cooking and proper nutrition. I don’t want to get sick, so I have learned to take responsibility for my actions,” Gunnar says.
  • Gunnar values sleep and tries to get nine to 10 hours a night. His priorities are staying healthy, academics and socializing. Regarding socializing at college: “You have to make the right decisions and avoid people who smoke.”
  • Gunnar on telling people at college he has CF: “I am straight up with them and keep it simple – it’s a respiratory disease. Telling people I have CF helps them and myself grow – that is part of the college experience …”
  • Gunnar’s role models: “My parents and my sister Sydney [also attending BC]. They BELIEVE in me and are always telling me I can do it. My family is the best and they always push me to take care of myself.”
  • Gunnar’s advice to others thinking about going to college: “Do it – go to college and experience it! If you have the opportunity to go away to school – do it! Be independent and your own person – you will grow as a person.”
  • Gunnar on Gunnar: “I am a nice person, I enjoy living life to the fullest and I have no regrets … It’s all about going forward and not living in the past …”

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

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