People with CF have a defective gene that casues a thick, sticky buildup of mucus in the lungs, pancreas, and other organs.
That means mucus clogs my airways and traps bacteria - leading to infections, extensive lung damage, and eventually, respiratory failure. In my pancreas, the mucus prevents my body from breaking down food and absorbing nutrients.
I have to do a lot of "treatments" to slow down the progress of the disease, and throughout my life I have struggled with managing all of it. The hardest time was when I was young and didn't fully understand why I couldn't keep up with my friends. I always had to spend multiple weeks at a time in the hospital getting what we call "tune-ups", so my health wouldn't decline and endanger my life.
Although the last 3 years of my life have been the best years I could ask for.
Other than my illness, I grew up pretty normal. I lived with my mom and dad, my brother Zach, and my sister Stephanie who also had Cystic Fibrosis. My brother and I first started school in Shepherd, MT, then in 2004 we moved to the Heights, in Billings, where we finished grade school at Eagle Cliffs Elementary. We moved a few times and switched schools until I started highschool at Skyview Highschool. Eventually I was held back because of all the hospitalizations from complications from my diseas.
In 2009 my sister Stephanie, who also had Cystic Fibrosis, passed away from lung failure. it was the hardest time of my life because I was just old enough to finally understand what death was, and why it took my sister away from me. It took her life, because she never did her inhaled
nebs or her vest therapy. She never excercised. She let the disease take her life, and it took me a long time to realize it. It was when I turned 20 that I realized if I didn't work hard to change, CF would take my life too.
Since my 20th birthday i have climbed 4 mountains, fished many rivers, and hiked many trails here in the state of Montana, Oregon, and Washington. I refuse to become a victim of this disease, and thats why i am doing this fundraiser. As of 2018 my lung function is at 18%-40% and I'm in desperate need of a double lung transplant. The University of Washington and I are working to make that a reality, but I will need funds to move there, and once
I'm out of the hospital post transplant will need the funds to stay afloat up until I'm medically cleared and can start working.
My dreams are to climb the tallest peak in every mountain range in the state of Montana, and continue on past that. I want to get married to my amazing other half, Courtney. I wish to live an active and productive life after tranplant, and that's exactly what I'm going to do.
Please make a donation today and help me live the long and full life I am working hard to make a reality.
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