It is an absolute honor to support an organization like the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Central Florida Office. I look forward to the opportunity to make a difference and support their mission. This is my story about how Cystic Fibrosis has impacted me.
I met a Lance at the beginning of my Sophomore year at SUNY Albany. We became instant friends.
Very early in our friendship, Lance confided in me about his condition and the challenges he’s had with his health. And as a result, he lived life like each day was his last. As a 20 year old, I was fortunate to have someone with such a positive attitude on life, especially during a time when you are figuring out your purpose. He was also one of the most funniest and sarcastic people I’ve ever met, and he cared deeply about everyone he came in contact with and made EVERYONE laugh.
Through the years, we remained close friends, even as CF was making his condition worse and worse. As a way to shelter the ones he loved, he would go off the grid for a “Tune Up” until he knew he was OK. He always wanted to put everyone’s emotions before his.
He was fortunate to get a full lung transplant, and was ecstatic when he left the hospital. He had a new start on life, and now had a life expectancy that could get him into his 40s or even 50s (as opposed to 20s, maybe 30s). It was fantastic.
Sadly, he got an infection and lost one of the lungs. He was re-hospitalized. It was discouraging, but for the longest time, his attitude was always positive. In the summer of 2004, I knew things weren’t going well. Lance had gone off the grid again, and while his family gave me an update that he was still in the hospital, he told me not to come see him.
The worst call of my life came on September 27th, 2004. His family said to get to the hospital as quickly as possible. For the next several hours, I was honored to be with Lance and his closest family when he took his final breath. I tell everyone to this day, it was a bittersweet experience, but would never wish it upon anyone. I told myself I’d keep his attitude and his humor with me and try to allow it to live on.
Today my only regret in life is that my amazing wife and children never got the chance to meet Lance. Hopefully with my participation with CF and telling his story, more people will see how devastating this disease is and what type of wonderful people are lost because of it.
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Thank you for reading my page and your donation to CF!