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When I Was Born This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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When I was born, I wasn't supposed to live past my childhood.
Someone must have missed something, 'cause I lived 'til 46.
It attacked my lungs; it was hard to breathe.
The aerosols helped a little, though.

At times, everyday tasks seemed impossible,
but I fought, and so I succeeded.
They thought I wouldn't even see my teenage years!
So who would ever think I could not only run but place in a 5K race?

Who would ever think I would be an athlete?
Who would ever think I could shoot, run, pass, and dribble?
Who would ever think I could pitch a fastball or make it curve?
They thought my limit was grade school, but I knew it was the sky.

They saw me work five jobs.
They saw me go to college, and they saw me pass the bar.
The saw me meet my wife, saw me marry, saw my children,
and saw me go beyond the places they thought I could never go!

So I did the unthinkable!
I became the inspiration of countless children and their families.
They saw me achieve! They saw me succeed!
They saw how nothing held me back; they saw how nothing slowed my stride.
They saw me on the Cleveland branch; saw me as chairman of the events;
saw me on the National Board, committed to a goal, committed to a cure.
For sixty-five roses.
For cystic fibrosis.

When I was born, who would have thought I would live to 46?
They saw me run; they saw me jump; they saw me fly; they saw me soar.
They saw me keep my head up high despite all the obstacles in my way.
They saw me destroy those obstacles! They saw me as their inspiration.

And they see the legacy I leave. They see the difference I have made.
I am still their inspiration, and in their hearts I live forever.
So they saw me fight, unwavering 'til those last words never spoken:
“I'm not afraid to die; don't be afraid to live.”

This poem was inspired by my father, who had cystic fibrosis. Because my dad viewed himself as a normal person instead of a CF patient, he excelled. He showed others with the disease that despite the hardships, they could do anything they wanted. At age 46 my father passed away from complications from a lung transplant and CF. Though he couldn't speak at the end, he wrote his last words. They are the quote at the end of my poem.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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rheameThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jun. 1, 2015 at 2:50 am
a wonderful , inspiring poem! hats off !!
theauther65 said...
May 11, 2010 at 10:07 pm
I don't know what to say. That's really meaningful that this poem that I wrote for school, that I was required to submit to a writing contest, that would probobly never be in existance if it wasn't for the assignment I had, made such an impact. I should thank my english teacher from last year. It's good to know that it helped you out Shawn. My dad died almost exactly 5 years ago - April 29th is the date - and he is proof that it's possible to live as a person not just as a person with CF. Rememb... (more »)
Shawwn84 said...
May 11, 2010 at 7:35 pm
I have CF to and this made my day when I read it...I am 15 right this helped a lot with everything Thank you Brad
ThisLitIsBananas This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 3, 2010 at 4:15 pm
I am so sorry about your dad. Wonderful article. Best wishes, <3
Orlene L. said...
Feb. 8, 2010 at 4:31 pm
i love this! great job i am speechless! keep writing
TheUnknownGuest said...
Feb. 4, 2010 at 6:19 pm
Wow.... I'm speechless. This is just wonderful! I'm proud of you, writing about your dad; seeing the good side and never the bad. I'm sure he would be so proud as well! :)
GingerbreadMan said...
Feb. 4, 2010 at 9:17 am
I really liked ur was very inspiring..u should write more
AdamElyan said...
Jan. 27, 2010 at 3:56 pm
I JUST I JUST I JUST fell in Love of it ! =|
Sam T. said...
Mar. 16, 2009 at 7:29 pm
wow. Amazing.
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