That Little Blue-eyed Girl

November 7, 2007
There are two things in the world that mean the most to me; they are my family and writing. When something terrible happens to my family it’s as if I have been crushed by an Acme anvil that has fallen from a thirteen story window. Christina is eleven and is just like me. I love her so much for it. It’s like having a little mini me running around. We don’t look too much alike, but we make up for it with our stubbornness and motherly attitudes. My sister Christina was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis two years ago. She was nine at the time. She had a mild case; therefore it wasn’t caught at birth. It could become severe at any moment.
According to the Cystic Fibrosis foundation, Cystic Fibrosis is an inherited disease that affects the lungs and digestive system. It involves a defected gene that causes the body to produce unusually thick mucus that closes the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections; it also obstructs the pancreas. The symptoms are salty tasting skin, persistent coughing, lung infections, shortness of breath, poor growth, and bulky stools. To be diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis you can take a sweat test and if the results are unclear you can take a genetic test. About 30,000 children and adults in the United States have been diagnosed, 70,000 worldwide. In 2006 the predicted median age of survival for Cystic Fibrosis patients was thirty seven years. Depending on the case, they may live longer. There are 1,000 new cases diagnosed every year and more than 70% of patients are diagnosed by age two.


Imagine finding out your sibling or someone you love, has this disease: you’d be devastated and upset at first, but then you’d remember everything you love about them.
Christina is the most mature child I have ever met. There has been many times where she has fooled people in public places about her age because she looks a lot younger than she is.
My family and I went to Pancho Villa for dinner one night. Dad said we could get milkshakes since it was a special occasion. Christina was super excited as she looked at all the drinks Jake, Heather, and I were receiving. She was jumping up and down from her seat in anticipation. The waitress finally came with Christina’s milkshake. Christina’s face just fell as she saw what was laid before her on the table. It was a milkshake in a kid’s cup with a cherry hanging from the tip of the straw. The whole family just burst out laughing. Christina looked up at the smiling waitress and asked, “Ma’am how old do you think I am?” The waitress no longer smiling then replied in a thick Spanish accent, “Seven?” The table was silent. “I am eleven,” said Christina point blank. The waitress didn’t know what to do with herself after hearing this. She just mumbled something and ran away. At the time this event was hilarious, but now that I look back on it, Christina was pretty devastated over it.
Christina is tiny and always has been. She has a small face with freckles dotting her nose and wide blue eyes that always have a curious mischievous glint in them. Every time we enter a doctor’s or a dentist’s office, Christina is often described as “cute as a button.”


Now with this image in your mind can you imagine an eleven year old girl that
looks like she just rolled out of the book “Anne of Green Gables” reprimand a waitress in her thirties?
CF children go through a lot and feel a lot that healthy children may never feel or go through in their entire life. They have to take many medicines two to three times a day. Christina is on each of her breathing machines twenty minutes a day, twice a day. She hates it; she says she doesn’t feel like a normal child because she can’t sleepover at her friends’ houses and she can’t jump on trampolines or do the things her friends do.
Christina is always thinking optimistically of her circumstances. I remember one time I came home from work and Christina was on one of her breathing machines. I looked up and smiled at her and noticed she had a new breathing mask on. It was in the shape of a fish’s head and had gills on the side. She had all of her hair pulled back in this messy bun and green pajamas on. At first sight I thought she looked like a mermaid. I hadn’t noticed that my dad was in the room until he spoke up and said “Why Chrissy, is that an elephant on your face?” It was amusing because Christina got up from her chair and yelled “No that’s Bubbles the fish!” She named her face mask and was acting as if she was swimming around in a fish bowl.
How many times a day do I complain or get frustrated? Meanwhile, Christina, my little sister who is diagnosed with a horrible disease, doesn’t. She is happy and content with her life. Christina is an inspiration and a good example of how a person should be.

Christina has been hurt by naïve people who hold no compassion. She is beautiful and one of the most caring human beings on this earth. Christina is living her life the right way.
She sees the good qualities in everyone and has done nothing in return to harm any living creature. For a grown adult to want to stay away from a little child just because they fear they are “contagious” is wrong. Despite her small stature, she is a bigger person, than all those people put together. Christina enjoys life day by day.
My sister has taught me that life is precious. You never know when you are going to die; you don’t know who close to you may die. Live life as if you only have today and love life because you have it. Christina does. She knows what life is, she may not be able to tell you in words; but she can certainly show you. Christina has a disease that has no cure, but yet she is brave and endures it. She is only a child of eleven and has faced things that terrorize adults. Some grown adults can’t face the fact they have cancer and are angry with the world, while Christina continues to love the world.
If you want to learn more about Cystic Fibrosis and how you can help those with
It you can visit these websites: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation,, Norma Kennedy Plourde, a woman who has CF,, Starlight Star bright Children’s Foundation,
Christina my dear, little sister is my heart; she is a part of me that will forever stay and I hope everyone in life finds someone they love so much that they will never want to let them go. This is a learning experience for me. If anything it has taught me to be more compassionate.

Life holds a new meaning to you when there is someone you love who will not be in it for long. Love everything that life is and receive everything that life has to offer.


"This will certify that the above work is completely original"
Alexis Callaway

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canadamg said...
Aug. 13, 2008 at 8:43 pm
"Live life as if you only have today and love life because you have it." Thats true wisdom. Great testimonial, well written and truly thought provoking.
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