I was born with Cystic Fibrosis (CF): a terminal genetic disease that mainly affects the lungs, causing a buildup of thick, sticky mucus that clogs the airways making it very difficult to breathe. I am 1 out of around 30,000 children and adults who suffer from the number one genetic killer.
When I was born, my parents were told they would never see me graduate high school. I have a life expectancy of thirty-five years. I am twenty-two years old as I write this. My lung capacity is 70%. Two weeks ago it was in the 50’s. I may not be able to have children. The disease will progressively worsen.
CF is something I have, but I will not let it define me. Nonetheless, so much of who I am is from the trials and tribulations I face. I have been shaped and molded through my experiences battling this disease. Strength, humility, appreciation, awareness, compassion, and complete honesty would not be instilled within my soul if I existed without this label.
This tag the doctors branded me with has aided me in finding my true purpose in life. I know what it is like to suffer, and my goal in life is to alleviate that from as many people I can. This consciousness would not be possible without God allowing CF to be a part of my life. With every person I meet or experience I have, I know it is a part of God’s plan. I do not believe there are any coincidences in life. Accidents are incidents according to God’s blueprints. I know I was not born with CF by chance. It seems adversity spawns growth. Battling CF has forced me to come into my own. I have learned the value of life, the power of thought, and the means we possess to generate any future we can imagine. I figure all of the affliction is worth it if I can change at least one being’s perspective on life’s journey.
Living with CF has taught me that life without love is worthless. It is the most enduring impact you can have on earth. By loving others, you give attention to something outside of yourself. It is through love that suffering can be alleviated.
CF has taught me:
How to love.
How to live.
How to dream.
There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief…
And unspeakable love.