Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Love To Breathe Award 2017

I had the honor of presenting the Love To Breathe Award at the annual Adding Tomorrows meeting. The Love To Breathe Award was established in 2007 making this year the 10th anniversary which was pretty incredible. 

The award is given to:
•someone who is passionate about Cystic Fibrosis
•someone who is out in the community raising awareness and making a difference
•someone who is known in the CF community
•someone who has the ultimate goal to make CF stand for CURE FOUND

This years Love To Breathe Award recipient was Kathleen Richards!! She lives and breathes all these qualifications. To know her is to love her. I had the pleasure of presenting with her at NACFC this last November about mentoring, little did she know she's always been a mentor to me. 

I first met Kathleen when I was 12, she has put up with me for so many years not to mention my teenage years that alone deserves an award. She has taught me all my airway clearance techniques and was the reason I came up with my own technique which I call "Somer Genics" She loves mucus and to this day she still gets so excited when I call the mucus hotline. I'm so honored and lucky to have her as a friend. 

Kathleen thank you for all you did for me and for all you do for my lil CF kiddos. You have taught us all how to breathe deep, BLAST it out, and to always keep on going! Taking this pic with these cardboard heroes seemed fitting since you're a real life hero to so many!! This award was long overdue and so well deserved. Breathe out Love! Xo❤

Friday, February 17, 2017

Surviving Is My Reality

"And so she breathed through her life as if it were a battlefield and wished that one day she would actually live, and not just survive."

This quote is so fitting. CF is my battlefield I will tell you that surviving this battlefield is no easy feat! Today my CF apt was loooonnnggg and a lil bit draining to say the least. My mind is always on overload after appointments like today. I truly am in awe and so very grateful for this body of mine, it seriously amazes me everyday at how hard it works just to survive. 

My lungs are on a slow but steady decline. Seeing loss in lung function and facing the reality of what percentage of lung power I have left can be somewhat discouraging. However, I try not to focus on the numbers too much... it's easier said than done, but the mind can be a powerful healing tool. I have one month to turn these numbers around or I'll be joint bound. Until then I will continue to breathe through my battlefield and do everything in my power to survive because surviving is my reality and I have to be ok with that. 
Breathe out Love! Xo❤

Monday, January 16, 2017

CF Bacteria Is Stressful

Very interesting read from Cystic Fibrosis News Today...

I believe the more awareness and education on CF bacterias would be beneficial and help alleviate some of the stresses for parents or patients when they hear that pseudo or other bacterias are present. 

I think there is a lot of pressure on parents when they find out their child is growing out a bacteria. They usually blame themselves or immediately wonder what they could have done differently. The reality is that these bacterias are everywhere and there is steps you can do to help prevent being exposed but if our lungs want to grow out a bacteria they will find the power to do so. I'm pretty sure that even if we lived in a germ free bubble the bacteria would still somehow manage to get in at some point. 

Everyone I know in the CF community does the best that they can do. There's the extreme germ a phobe to the relaxed take life by the horns approach there is no right or wrong approach you just have to find what works best for you and your lifestyle. Hopefully with better understanding of these bacterias minds will be put to ease that even after all the work the patient or parent has done CF will still strike. So just keep doing your best, stay strong and positive and together we will fight when CF does strike. Breathe out Love! Xo❤

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

New Year... Keep Being You

I have spent the last couple of days reflecting on this last year.... Whether it was through laughter or tears I am so grateful to have had each and every moment that I did and so lucky to have spent them with some of the most fabulous people. There were some amazing moments in 2016 that took my breath away... in fact there are way too many to count or sum up in just nine photos. Each day is such a blessing, even the bad days can help you learn and grow. 

"If you're lucky enough to be different, never change."-Taylor Swift

Just Be You... Don't make goals to change yourself make goals to better yourself. You should never have to change who you are to fit in... be different! Be proud of who you are and own it. BE YOU! Happy 2017 everyone!! Thank you for your love and continued support. I hope this year brings you good health, happiness, lots of love and many moments that take your breath away. Keep being you. Breathe out Love! Xo❤️

Friday, September 23, 2016

One Year On Orkambi

I can't believe it's already been one year!! I was so nervous to start this drug, there were so many unknowns and so many questions. Although it may not be easy, there are times where you just have to be okay with not knowing what will happen next... 

Having the opportunity to take this drug that I had waited my whole life for was such a blessing. For the first time in a long time Orkambi gave me a glimpse of hope. Hope for a prolonged future, and hope that maybe I can live just a lil bit longer. I had so many questions when starting Orkambi and of course I couldn't help but have some high expectations. 

Will Orkambi be the right drug for me? Will it help me get off oxygen? Will it thin out my very thick mucus? Will I see my 40th birthday? Will I soon need a life saving double lung transplant? These were just some of the questions I had asked myself before starting Orkambi and actually I find myself still wondering these very same things. 

Unfortunately there is still so many unknowns and unanswered questions. I'm still not sure if Orkambi is the right drug for me. It still may take some time to see any type of results with it because of the stage of my disease. One thing I do know though is that this drug has done some amazing things for so many and that makes me very happy. 

On sept 30th the FDA will decide if this drug should be available to 6-11 year olds with CF.... I sure hope they approve it for them. This drug is doing wonders for those with healthy lungs. It could be life changing for these young kiddos, and nothing makes me more happy to envision my lil CF kiddos with grey hair and wrinkles. 

So today as I swallow my morning dose of Orkambi I will continue to focus on this drug working it's magic deep inside my lungs... so deep that we just aren't able to tell quite yet how it's helping me. I'm not giving up on Orkambi, I have so much hope for what's to come.... 

There are so many great drugs in the CF pipeline. I am hopeful that if Orkambi ends up not being the right drug for me there soon will be another drug that will help answer all my questions.... and maybe, just maybe meet my high expectations. 
Breathe out Love! Xo❤️

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Cure Cystic Fibrosis

Sometimes we often hear "But you don't look sick"... If only people had X-ray vision.... 

What is CF?! Well, CF is a genetic disease that primarily affects the lungs and the digestive system. It causes our bodies to produce a thick sticky mucus. The mucus builds up in the lungs and can lead to life threatening lung infections. 

This is my actual lung X-ray, I call these my pearly whites. The white is irreversible scarring from the thick sticky mucus and the many lung infections I have had. Both the mucus and the lung infections have resulted in loss of lung function over time, my lung function currently hovers around 27-28%. I literally think about every breath I take. 

A CFers day consists of hours of breathing treatments, airway clearance, exercise, and handful of pills, and that is just the regular maintenance for when we are healthy. We work so hard day in and day out. 

CF is inconvenient, CF is exhausting, and CF will never be easy. However, I believe CF has made me stronger, it makes me fight harder, love more, and truly appreciate life one breath at a time... CF is a blessing in an ugly disguise, it's my reality and its made me who I am today, for that I am grateful. 

I will continue to fight and do my part until that one day CF stands for CURE FOUND!!  Breathe out love! Xo ❤

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

What An Honor

Thank you so much everyone for sharing this article, for all of your comments, messages, and your love and support. I think it's safe to say I am still in shock and still so blown away.

Never in a million years did I think I would be featured in Cosmopolitan and now ELLE too, let alone be on a list of this caliber... I am truly humbled. These 12 beautiful, courageous, strong, women are amazing and I am beyond honored to be on this list with them. 

I am so grateful to Cosmopolitan and ELLE for bringing awareness to Cystic Fibrosis and to all these other diseases as well. I hope that a cure is close for all of these battles and so many more. 

To the 12 amazing women I share this list with and all those that can relate to one of us... keep fighting, stay strong and continue to do amazing things. You are my heroes and you inspire me everyday. Together we will continue to fight and defy the odds! 
Breathe out Love! Xo❤️