Cystic Fibrosis Podcast 99: Pregnancy, a Family and CF

A little more than a decade ago, marriage and starting a family seemed to be an unthinkable dream for people with CF. But Jerry Cahill’s latest podcast shows how this dream is becoming a reality for more and more adults with CF.

The podcast features Karen Vega, a 30-year-old with cystic fibrosis who discusses pregnancy and having a family. Karen is the mother of two-year-old twin boys, and she ran the 2010 ING New York City Marathon for Team Boomer.

Karen grew up in New York, was diagnosed with CF at eight months and also has a brother with CF. She attended Fordham University, worked on Wall Street for six years, and now is a stay-at-home mom to twins Jayden and Logan.

Karen says her doctors were supportive of her wish to start a family with husband Alex, although they did want her FEVs above 70 percent before she became pregnant. Karen’s pregnancy was considered high-risk, and she saw her doctor every two months, instead of the usual three.

“You must establish a routine to balance family and health, and it’s important to have a good support team,” Karen says. “The biggest challenge I face being a mom is time management,” she says. “I started jogging, and the exercise has been a major factor in keeping me healthy and a good way to get out with my two beautiful boys in the stroller.”

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