November 21 2014

Jarrod McKee

Hi! My name is Jarrod McKee, and I am a CF Dad to my one-year-old son Carson. My first child was born symptomless and was not a carrier of the CF gene – so Carson’s diagnosis came as a complete surprise to my wife and me.

Our first month with Carson was so tough. We had no idea what to expect – and the experience was completely different than with our first child. We decided to be as proactive as possible by raising money for the cause and by enrolling Carson in observation trials.

The McKee family has very structured days. We wake up early for treatments before the babysitter arrives, and when Carson is sick, we completely rearrange our work schedules to be with him. My wife and I make sure that we, as a family, are compliant with treatments and nutrition as well as our own exercise so we can set a good example.

The best thing about Carson is that he has a big personality – always happy, laughing, and smiling. We know that he has a great life ahead of him, and we are going to do everything in our power to make it possible.

November 19 2014

Medora Frei

“You get to choose the color of your own sky everyday.”

I was only very recently diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, just a few years ago when I was 18. For the most part, my lungs are healthy, I really only have issues with my pancreas. It was a shock being diagnosed so late in life. I unfortunately, had to drop out of my high school track team when I found out I had CF. It was such a hard thing to do since I had competed at the state championship when I was on the team, one of my proudest moments in life.

Since I have been diagnosed, though, I have gotten back to exercising. I try to run 3 or 4 miles every day. I am convinced that keeps my lungs healthy. Running makes me feel great.

CF still remains a challenge. It has definitely affected my social life. I have found that I spend less time with my friends, especially when someone isn’t feeling well, I just can’t risk it. My family has also struggled with medical bills.

Despite having cystic fibrosis, I attend Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, and I know that I am not alone. I’m just always trying to have fun and laugh.

I love music and play the mandolin.
My favorite band is the Avett Brothers.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.
Yellow is my favorite color.
I love the Harry Potter movies.
If I could go anywhere in the world, it would be Ireland.

November 12 2014

Kayla Vess

I was born and raised in Missouri, and diagnosed with CF at 3 months old. Now, I am almost a year post double-lung transplant – my life has gone through an enormous change. Although I was always fairly healthy before my transplant, my new lungs have given me the opportunity to really get into the gym and become an athlete. Exercising now plays a huge role in my life. I feel stronger from my daily trips to the gym in which I lift weights and focus on cardio workouts. Something that I am very proud of is that I was able to finish a sprint-triathlon only eight months after transplant. One day I hope to compete in an Ironman. I would also love to do the 65 mile, 65 Roses, bike ride one day. Riding my bike is definitely one of my favorite hobbies.

I have made quite a few sacrifices to maintain my health. Cystic fibrosis certainly is an added weight when it comes to my relationships with family and friends, but I know I have to give up social time so I can keep doing the things that I love. CF is a time consuming disease. Despite having CF, I do think I am very outgoing and I love spending time with my family and friends, there is nothing better.

People should have faith in modern medicine!

My favorite color is Pink.
I have visited Hawaii in the past; I want to go back someday.
Christmas is my favorite holiday.
I love Chinese food.
My favorite movie is Legally Blonde.
Soccer is my favorite sport.