May 20 2010

Kayte Tranel

I am on a mission to use the talents and abilities I’ve been given to the greatest potential. Although I cannot control many aspects of my life, I have a desire to work hard and focus on the things that I am capable of achieving.

I’ve been blessed with some athletic ability, which complements having CF. My goals as an athlete give me motivation to be compliant with my CF therapies. At the same time, being an athlete has become a major component of my care plan, and it has significantly improved my health and quality of life.

Finally, I have a passion for learning, and fortunately, health behavior is a growing area of research with plenty left to discover. I am on a mission as a student and professional to help others value their health and wellness.

My favorite holiday is Christmas because it includes my favorite things: family, a break from school, and my favorite foods – peanut brittle, sugar cookies, mashed potatoes, and stuffing.

My role models vary –
My mom epitomizes strength and the ability to endure and overcome challenges. My boyfriend, Lucas – his patience and understanding are qualities I try to emulate. I admire my sister Abby for fearlessly welcoming challenges.

My dream vacation is to ride my bike across a state that I haven’t visited.

May 12 2010

Steve Bell

I was diagnosed with CF when I was three months old. Throughout my life, there were always obstacles or doubts or challenges – some more difficult than others. But it’s not about the challenges; it’s about your attitude, how you overcome, and what you do with what you learned from that experience. Whether it is the diagnosis of CF-related diabetes, overcoming the daily battle, or walking onto the Ithaca College soccer team, I am determined, I fight, and I prevail.

To stay healthy, I am compliant with my treatments and exercise five to six days a week. I enjoy playing soccer and running. I ran the 2009 New York City Marathon and finished in 3:57, achieving my goal of a sub-four-hour marathon. Another example of how – if you put your mind to something – there’s nothing that can stop you.

Today, I am 26. I am happy, healthy, and living life to the fullest.

My favorite…
Holiday is Thanksgiving
Food is a bagel with cream cheese
Color is blue
Pastime is playing soccer

My nickname is… Little Guy or Steve-O.
My friends and family would say that I am determined.
I admire anyone and everyone who lives each day to the fullest.
My dream vacation is to go to the World Cup.

May 02 2010

Andrea Eisenman

To be honest, when I was in my teens and early 20s, I wasn’t disciplined about my treatment and my health. Looking back, I guess I was resentful that I had to take care of myself in a way that my friends didn’t. Being compliant and working and trying to have a social life – sometimes it was too much. I was hospitalized several times for pneumonia, and my prognosis was not good.

In my early 30s as my health was deteriorating, I was placed on the lung transplant list. I was dependent on oxygen, and I had colds that lasted for two or three weeks. My lungs were bleeding, and I had hemoptysis frequently. But even as I struggled, I knew I had to be compliant with my treatments, and I exercised in whatever way I could – usually on the treadmill or by swimming with my oxygen on.

In 2000, at the age of 35, I received a double-lung transplant. Despite my condition, it wasn’t an easy decision. There was no guarantee it would go well; there were many risky factors. After my transplant, I was in the hospital for 13 days, but felt elated when I could take a deep breathe without coughing. I hadn’t been able to do that since I was about ten years old.

Recently, I passed the ten-year anniversary of my transplant, and I’m doing things that I never expected to do. I try to do up to an hour-and-a-half of anything cardiovascular every day to keep my lungs clear. To maintain my health, I go to the gym, swim, play tennis, and bike ride. I have been in the transplant games twice, and have won the silver and bronze medal. I never expected to be able to do these things; I just hoped that my transplant would enable me to get off of oxygen and be a little more independent.

One of my inspirations during my toughest years has been participating in and serving the CF community. For many years, I felt isolated because I didn’t know anyone with CF. It wasn’t until 1997 when I attended a CFRI conference in California that I met other people who were living and working with CF. These were people I could talk to, who would understand everything I was going through. At the conference, I met a volunteer who worked on the CF Roundtable newsletter, and she asked me to join the Board. I began to volunteer on the publication, which I still do today. I also volunteer for the NY Organ Donor Network, and I participate in CF walks.

I appreciate every moment I have and the surprises that life brings. For example, one day I was walking my dog in the park, met a man named Steve, and we married in September 2008.

I am committed to staying compliant because I never want to slide back into sickness.