June 28 2009

Richie Keane

“Exercise has always been and will always be a part of my daily routine.”
I grew up in a tight-knit family of nine kids, three of whom, including me, were born with cystic fibrosis. I had a relatively normal childhood – I was actively involved in sports, like baseball, football, skiing, bowling, and basketball. Because I exercised regularly, I was able to stay out of the hospital for the most part up until I was a freshman in college. Severe pancreatitis forced me to leave school and start working a full time job.
Cystic fibrosis, while it has not defined me, has affected the way I live my life. As I get older, I notice how much it changes the way I make plans for the future: how I have gotten in the habit of planning day by day or month by month, instead of making longer-term plans. Prior to my transplant, my medical compliance was a habit, almost like muscle memory. I took 40+ pills a day, did a sinus wash at least once a day, have dealt with my diabetes for years, exercised regularly, and did a number of other treatments. My doctors told me, after my transplant, that because CF forced me to be disciplined and scheduled, my chances at success increased significantly. The one long-term goal I did set early in life was to keep my lungs as healthy as possible for as long as possible – and I succeeded in that goal.
To this day, the thing I am most proud of has nothing to do with my disease – it has to do with my family. My wife and I helped raise our two nieces, and I am proud to say that they have grown into loving, beautiful women. My wife and I will soon celebrate our 25th anniversary, and we have so much to be thankful for – especially the family we were able to build together.
I enjoy… fishing, golfing, playing with my dog, staying active, managing a restaurant, and taking vacations.

My favorite…
Color is red.
Food is pizza.
Holiday is Christmas.
Movie is To Kill a Mockingbird.
Song is Freebird.
Team is the Jets.
Athlete is Joe Namath.
If I could visit anywhere in the world, I would…  go on an African safari.
My friends and family would describe me as… witty.
My role model is… my doctor of 45 years, Dr. Jack Gorvoy.
If I could give someone recently diagnosed any advice, it would be… stay active and keep a regiment.