There is a disease that plagues the people of America. It is the number one genetic killer in children, yet I live with it every day. At the age of two I was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, a respiratory disease that causes the body to produce a vicious amount of mucous. As a result of my prognosis, I am severely underweight and often am burdened by numerous lung infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia.
Unfortunately, Cystic Fibrosis is often a side note to other serious conditions and is not given the recognition, funding or research that it desperately needs. Two of these illnesses that get so much attention are cancer and AIDS. I do not mean to discredit them as unimportant or tolerable, for I have lost love ones to both. Nor do I believe that cancer or AIDS should receive less publicity. If anything, I believe that there should be more. It is just that I see Cystic Fibrosis as being equally fatal and needing equal representation in the homes and lives of everyday America.
I did not write this to offend anyone. I wrote it in hopes of inspiring someone to come to the same realization that I have, maybe even to save my life. I've seen children have lung transplants and read about those who didn't survive - I don't want to have to do that anymore. tf
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.