What’s it like to grow up with cystic fibrosis?
Briana H.: I was diagnosed when I was 18 months old so this is something I’ve lived with since before I can remember. It wasn’t until I got a little bit older and wanted to be over at friends’ houses that I learned that it could sometimes be a burden and get in the way of things. I’m sure anyone with a chronic illness would say that it’s annoying at times. But as a kid it never held me back from anything, I played a ton of sports when I was younger. I did competitive cheerleading for a lot of years, in addition to ski club, and I was involved in other ways like volunteering and giving school tours.
How has life in college been different than living at home?
BH: I’ve always been pretty independent with my health. In high school, I was always the first one up in my family and the last one in bed because my treatments take about an hour, so I had to allow extra time in the morning and night. It is a little more responsibility to keep track of all my medications and keep them organized. I do have a cystic fibrosis center at school so I go to doctor’s appointments there and I’ve made connections around the area. As of this January, I got a port in my chest for IV antibiotics. With that I’ve had to learn how to access it once a month so it doesn’t’ get clogged. I have to keep all my ducks in a row and make sure that I’m doing everything that I need to do.