July 13 2009

Victor Roggli

I was born in Westchester, Tennessee in the spring of 1951. As a child, I had trouble gaining weight and was often in poor health – fighting off bouts of pneumonia. It was not until 1963, at the age of 12, when I received a sweat test at Vanderbilt University Hospital in Nashville and was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. My parents’ decision to let me play sports growing up kept my lungs healthy and promoted airway clearance. While attending undergraduate school at Rice University, I remained active by participating in intramural sports, such as flag football and basketball.

While attending medical school at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas to become a lung pathologist, I was fortunate to have access to both the most up-to-date treatment modalities and the opportunities for early intervention when problems arose. Now, at 58 years old, I continue my research as a lung pathologist and professor at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. I stay compliant with my medications but of struggle to find time to exercise. With the support of my wife, daughter, and two stepsons, I hope to get back to some of the activities I enjoyed in my youth.

Since I turned 50, I look at each day, week, month, and year as a gift, and it is my practice to live with an attitude of gratitude. I have also found that sharing my story with CF families or the freshman medical class at Duke is not enough. I have written a book, “So Far, So Good: Living and Coping with Cystic Fibrosis,” that is unpublished and still needs editing. My goal is to complete and publish the book, and give all of the proceeds to CF research. I am proud to say that I have not let CF stand in the way of my dreams, and I am continuously thankful for the gifts that each day brings.