August 23 2011

Keith Connolly

“Exercise is just as important as being compliant with your treatments.”

The only life I have ever known as been a life in which I have had to deal with cystic fibrosis on a daily basis. I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio in a family with six children. My identical twin and I were both diagnosed with CF when we were less than four months old – a diagnosis that impacted not only the two of us but also the rest of our family.

I have always been an active person – in middle school I played baseball, soccer, and football and then was a member of the cross country and wrestling teams in high school. My dedication to my physical health played a major role in my ability to stay out of the hospital for such a long period of time.

After graduating high school, I went on to attend Xavier University, at which point my health took a turn for the worse. I was diagnosed with “BOOP,” an inflammatory lung disease, on top of my CF – one of two people in the world with both diseases. In my sophomore year, my doctors diagnosed me with diabetes as well. Maintaining my health, at this time in my life, was a constant struggle. My lung function plummeted to a 40% function rate and it was then that I doubly committed myself to fighting through my diseases. I successfully graduated from college and earned my MBA and passed my CPA exam in 2010.

My lung function is currently at 110% and I owe that number to my dedication to running and my new-found love for weight lifting, which had become a huge passion. I competed in a National Championship of weight lifting, placing fourth in my class. I have come to the realization that remaining medically complaint, always planning ahead, and staying faithful to an exercise routine is what will enable me to live a longer, healthier life. I see a cure in the future and plan to be here to witness that day!

Favorite holiday: Christmas
Favorite food: Steak
Favorite past time: Baseball
Favorite movie: Rocky
Favorite Music: Rock & Roll
Favorite color: Red
One word to describe you: Enjoyable
Dream vacation: Europe
Social networks: Facebook and Linkedin