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As you all know, May is CF Awareness Month. There have been a lot of Facebook posts and talk about how awful CF is, and it is awful. You won’t get any argument from me on that. However, today, I want to talk about gratitude.

Thanks to the Boomer Esiason Foundation, the CF Foundation, and innovative research and new drugs by the pharmaceutical companies, tremendous progress has been achieved since the dark ages when I was a child with CF. We are living in the forward of amazing possibilities!

Growing up I slept in a mist tent and the average life expectancy was 12 years old – YIKES! It was truly the “dark ages” and some of the treatments were pretty bumpy. There was no such thing as home I.V. care, no one had a medi-port, so when I was hospitalized, they stuck me with a metal needle that stayed in my arm or hand. And, when someone’s veins were shot and they couldn’t use them anymore, they had to receive painful intramuscular shots in place of I.V.s. I used the old powder enzymes that were much less effective than the enteric-coated enzymes we use today.

I’m 61 and six years out from a double lung transplant. When I was younger, I never dreamed I’d live this long so I lived for the moment instead of saving money for the future I thought I’d never have, I blew through it.

Fortunately, people’s mindsets are now changing. They can realistically dream of going to college, getting married and having children and a career. All this is thanks to the organizations I mentioned above. BEF now gives out hundreds of scholarships to students with CF who want to go to college. That was unheard of when I was a student. I attended college, but I was an anomaly.

And the future just looks brighter with all the advances that are in the works from the amazing pharmaceutical companies like VERTEX. So, I’d like for us to focus, just for a little while, on an attitude of gratitude for the progress that’s been made from the time that CF was a death sentence to now when people can hope and dream of long, productive lives.

Quote: “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”

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