When I turned nine, the last thing I expected was to be diagnosed with a life-threatening lung disease.
All I worried about was getting good grades, hanging with my friends, and the approval of my parents.
I could paint the day of finding out I had Cystic fibrosis, perfectly in my head.
I had been with my friends at the playground, running around and playing manhunt.
When a call from my mom disrupted our game, she told the neighbor that was watching us that I had to come home immediately.
I honestly thought it had something to do with Gracie, she had just been diagnosed few weeks prior.
I was dropped off and ran right into the house. As soon as I opened that door and looked around, I knew something was very wrong.
All of my family members were crammed among the couches, dining room, and kitchen. Eyes, red and watery with lowered voices.
You could feel the tension in the room as all eyes looked at me.
I still didn’t suspect that it had anything to do with me, I just thought it was more bad news about Gracie.
Before I could get a word out to find out what had happened, my mom called me to come upstairs.
I trudged up the steps, glancing behind me, hoping that someone would crack a smile.
My mom was sat down on the bed, looking at me tenderly.
“Honey, take a seat.”
My heart was beating out of my chest as I moved towards her. It had to be something awful. Maybe Gracie is going to get admitted again and they are going to have to stay there for a long time.
My mom cleared her throat, “Dr. Kriendler called, the test results from the sweat test came back…”
I looked up at her, her eyes teary. You could tell she was trying to hold every ounce of her strength together for me.
I was praying to god that it wasn’t what I thought it was.
That there was no way that both, my sister and I, were dealt with these cards in life.
“You have Cystic fibrosis.”
All I could feel were her arms around me and sobs that I didn’t even know could come out of a human being, come out of me.
Pure devastation etched into my heart.
It was more, not knowing what Cystic fibrosis truly was and how it would affect me for the rest of my life.
I didn’t know what I wanted to do in life, but I knew that I wanted to live long enough to do them.
Whether it was being a doctor, a writer, an actor, a princess, or conquering the world in some way.
I had dreams of having a mansion and a jacuzzi.
I had dreams of having kids and meeting the love of my life.
I thought that all my dreams were gone and it broke my heart.
My whole life had been filled with average kid stuff and now I had to face things I didn’t even know were a possibility for me.
The hospital would be my second home.
I would now have to do treatments and medications to give me a longer life.
There could be a chance that I would need a lung transplant down the road.
I had to be responsible for my own health.
At only nine-years-old.
It was a rude awakening, to say the least, but I have learned a plethora of lessons since then.
Yes, Cystic fibrosis can hinder me from doing things in life.
But I will not let it.
I have so many dreams, wishes, and wants, that I am going to pursue.
I want to travel.
I want to jump out of a plane.
I want to change lives.
I want to kiss the love of my life on New Years.
I want to write a novel.
I want to have a kid.
Cystic fibrosis is not going to stop me from anything. Ever.
It is a part of my life and I can’t change that.
I have accepted it and appreciated that it has shaped me into the strong person that I am now. I have overcome so many challenges and obstacles in my life that have changed me entirely.
I have become resilient, independent, and motivated.
I wanted to live a life where I would live and love as fiercely and whole-heartedly, as I could.
And I intend to because as cliché as this sounds, life is too god damn short not to.
I have an amazing life filled with people who I genuinely love and care about.
I am surrounded by so much love and support.
I have been through the worst of situations filled with pain, sadness, and heartache but I’ve come out of it.
I did it.
I will continue to do it, to face the unthinkable, to gain more strength, become wiser, and learn from my mistakes.
Cystic fibrosis will not stop me from living the life, I choose to live.
P.S. Here is a video I made giving a more in-depth look at my own story and cystic fibrosis.