I'm glad that you've come to visit my page,
where you'll learn a little about what it's like
to live with a disease called cystic fibrosis.
Nice meeting you!
This is me...and that's what I have.

But I have a lot of other things besides CF...
like a great family, for instance.

My brother Nick
Here I am with my Mom, my Dad,
and that's my brother Nick right in the middle.
When I was a little girl, I didn't think having Cystic Fibrosis--CF for short--was so bad. Because of my CF, I got to do many fun things, like going on the TV show, "Family Feud" as the CF Poster Child, being given a miniature pinscher puppy (I named him Noodles), and getting to go to Disney World with my whole family for five whole days! I also have a lot of fun at the CF camp, for a week every summer.

The only bad part about having CF then was having treatments a couple of times a day to help me breathe, and something called chest PT to help me to clear out my lungs. See, that's a big problem with this disease. It's very easy for my lungs to get all clogged up, so that when I try to breathe air in, just like you, it has a tough time getting through. I also have to take a lot of pills every day, but that seems normal for me since I always had to do it.

Here's one of the things that happens with CF. When *you* get a cold, you get better pretty quickly. When I get sick with a bad cough, I need to get special medicines that go in my veins (do you know what veins are?), and sometimes I need to go to the hospital to get better. At least I've gotten used to the hospital. The nurses are real nice, and I even go to school there when I'm in for awhile.

Cystic fibrosis is something that I didn't ask for, and something that I can't give away. You can't catch it from me, though, so don't worry. If you're ever around a kid with CF who's coughing a lot, you don't have to worry about getting this yucky disease.

Can't wait to hear from you!

 To the frog ponds
 To write to Angela
Joan Fleitas, Ed.D., R.N.
Associate Professor of Nursing, Lehman College, CUNY
Bronx, New York 10468

Last updated: November 14, 2004