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Gunnar Esiason, a 19-year-old with cystic fibrosis, is a sophomore majoring in English at Boston College. Gunnar is physically active in intramural sports, works at being compliant, and loves college life.

  • Gunnar was diagnosed with CF at the age of two. He had a normal childhood and played lacrosse, baseball, football and ice hockey. Gunnar, despite the usual frustrations, never lets CF get in his way from leading a normal life.
  • Gunnar feels very comfortable living with roommates in a dorm setting and sharing about cystic fibrosis. “Having roommates just adds to the whole college experience … I would not do it any other way,” he says.
  • “Going away to college has taught me to be more independent, and be responsible for doing my medications, airway clearance, getting enough rest, cooking and proper nutrition. I don’t want to get sick, so I have learned to take responsibility for my actions,” Gunnar says.
  • Gunnar values sleep and tries to get nine to 10 hours a night. His priorities are staying healthy, academics and socializing. Regarding socializing at college: “You have to make the right decisions and avoid people who smoke.”
  • Gunnar on telling people at college he has CF: “I am straight up with them and keep it simple – it’s a respiratory disease. Telling people I have CF helps them and myself grow – that is part of the college experience …”
  • Gunnar’s role models: “My parents and my sister Sydney [also attending BC]. They BELIEVE in me and are always telling me I can do it. My family is the best and they always push me to take care of myself.”
  • Gunnar’s advice to others thinking about going to college: “Do it – go to college and experience it! If you have the opportunity to go away to school – do it! Be independent and your own person – you will grow as a person.”
  • Gunnar on Gunnar: “I am a nice person, I enjoy living life to the fullest and I have no regrets … It’s all about going forward and not living in the past …”

This “LIVING. BREATHING. SUCCEEDING.” Podcast/Vodcast is the fourth in our third season and is made possible through an unrestricted educational grant from Genentech to the Boomer Esiason Foundation.

Cystic Fibrosis Podcast
Cystic Fibrosis Podcast
Cystic Fibrosis Podcast 97: Gunnar Esiason - College Life and CF

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