Club CF 30+

People with CF who are LIVING, BREATHING and SUCCEEDING at 30+ may be very involved in their careers, climbing the corporate ladder and working on a relationship. Marriage, buying a home and starting a family are also common undertakings for people with CF, as they are living longer and benefiting from a better quality of life due to advances in therapies.

During their 30’s, CF patients may be doing more IV antibiotic therapies, more chest airway clearance therapies, looking into getting a Mediport to make things easier, maintaining their health through exercise and compliance, and coming up with clever ways to manage all of this while socializing.

If you are one of the many people LIVING, BREATHING and SUCCEEDING with CF, we want to hear from you! Show the world what you have done!
Click here to submit your story. All applicants will receive a CLUB CF t-shirt.

February 11 2009

Brian Johnson

“Dream big. Ride free. Breathe easy.”
 
I grew up in Southern Georgia, one of three boys, and was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at the age of seven in 1979. I owe much of my determination and my health to my brothers, who never treated me differently and always encouraged me to participate in athletics. I played baseball, basketball, and soccer, and have always been a huge football fan. The main difference I saw in myself compared to other kids my age was that I had to grow up quickly and remain compliant in order to avoid the hospital.
 
I eventually earned a Bachelor’s degree in business administration from Valdasta State University where I met my wife, Christie. I am now a father to a beautiful daughter and, in spite of certain difficulties, feel blessed every day.
 
During a recent dark time in my life, I discovered something new – something that changed me. I started riding motorcycles and it has become a both a passion and a mission. I started an organization called “CF Riders” and our mission is to ride cross-country while spreading a message of inspiration and hope: that no one is bound by CF. My wife, my daughter, and I are taking the journey together with the goal of gaining followers and spreading my message far and wide.
 
My calling in life is to spread awareness and positivity while doing something I love. I know we will one day find a cure, and it is my hope that my organization can help real that goal. CF has never and will never hold me back.
 
Favorite Holiday: Christmas
Favorite Food: Sushi
Favorite Pastime: Baseball
Favorite Movie: Forrest Gump
One Word That Describes You: Perseverance
Role Models: Ronnie Sharpe and Jerry Cahill
Dream Vacation: Australia
You can find Brian on... Facebook, Twitter, cysticfibrosis.com and CFsocial.net
February 02 2009

Cris Dopher

“Keep moving forward.”
 
At four years old, I was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. With my boyish good looks and southern Californian residency, I was chosen to be the poster child for the San Diego chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. My face was put on CFF posters that were distributed throughout the foundation and greater CF community. Before I entered the sixth grade, my dad moved our family to Missouri, where I first learned the importance of exercising from CF doctors at the University of Missouri Columbia Hospital.
 
Unable to play sports during my first years of high school after a farming accident crushed my ankle, I found my passion in theatre. Soon I was designing sets as well as acting in my high school plays. After graduating from college, I attended graduate school at NYU and received my Masters in Fine Arts.
 
In the years following grad school, I noticed a progression in the severity of my disease. Last March, when I was 36 years old, I struggled with another exacerbation. Climbing a flight of stairs left me breathless, and I began to fear the worst. I started exercising daily and my IVs began to work – so I slowly got stronger, both mentally and physically.
 
Even though it still remains a challenge to take the appropriate amount of enzymes every day, and eat as my doctors instruct, I am much more compliant these days and rarely miss treatments. Now that I have CF-related diabetes, I am even more careful about my health. I believe that the importance of compliance is the equivalent of how much belief you have in yourself and in your future.
 
Now, at 37, I work as a professional lighting and set designer for department stores. Having CF and working as a set designer does put limitations on my exposure to dust, but never on my creativity. I spend my free time volunteering and fundraising for BEF, including running for Team Boomer annually. Making contributions to BEF allows me to stay connected to the CF community. All in all, I keep moving forward – in my work, in my relationships, and most importantly, in my healthcare.
January 30 2009

Tiffany Christensen

I have lived with my illness from the time I was born. At 6 months of I began my acquaintance with in-patient hospital care at the age of 12. In spite of extensive ongoing treatments and procedures—at home and in various hospitals throughout the United States—at twenty-one years of age, I was placed on the list for a double lung transplant at UNC Memorial Hospital.  Waiting a total of five long and difficult years, during which, my lung function dropped to 18% capacity, I received my first set of donor lungs in April of 2000.

I enjoyed a level of health and energy I had never known until May of 2002 when I was diagnosed with chronic rejection. There were few treatment possibilities and I began to grow gravely ill, even more so than before my first transplant. My lung function was down to 10% of capacity and was told I only had months to live. Though, as my outer body weakened, my inner journey opened and I found unexpected gifts of insight, perspective, humor and strength. I began to know an inner peace I had never thought possible.

Due to a series of wonderful and unusual events, I was able to have a rarely performed second lung transplant just in the nick of time.

After the surgery, I awoke with a clear awareness of being “called” to work with those touched by illness and death. As soon as my recovery allowed, I trained as a Hospice Volunteer and began developing my talks and workshops.  Combining my patient experiences with my acting and improvisation training, I have created programs that are unique, fun, interactive, thought-provoking and inspirational. For those interested in seeking private guidance, I also provide illness coaching through email or over the phone.

I believe that, given my life experiences, it is my duty to lend a hand to those struggling to find their way through the world of illness.

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