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Living with CF for 19 years has been a struggle:  school, homework, treatments and my job. My name is Charity, I was diagnosed with CF when I was 3 months old. I am the third of four sisters. I believe it was hard on my parents and my siblings to watch me struggle with pain. My dad was always working to support us, my mom spent most of her time taking care of me.

I was in the hospital a lot when I was little and I know that wasn’t easy on my family.  I often had long hospital stays. My Mom never left me because she didn’t trust all the doctors.  It was hard on my sisters because they had to go to school, so they stayed with extended family members.  They would visit and bring presents whenever they could. 

The older I got (from 13 to 17 years old) the more I forgot to take my meds, and do my treatments.  I got in trouble from time to time because I just wanted so badly to be like everyone else and be able to do the things that normal kids could do.  My mom always told me I couldn’t and that made me mad.  

I never understood why I always had to go to the doctor every 3 months and nobody else did,  I was furious with my mom.  I promised myself after I turned 18 years old that I was never ever going to another doctor’s appointment . 

But here I am, an adult, and I realize how important it is to see my doctor on  a regular basis. And my supportive boyfriend Blake made sure I was doing my treatments. Eventually I moved in with Blakes family, my Mother kicked me out.

I bought my first car it was a red Chevy Impala. I really hated doing my treatments and taking my medications, but Blake has made sure that I did it all. Blake came into my life and has never left. I have been on my own since I was 18 and I’m almost 20 years old. It’s been hard because I can’t work as much as other people, I always get sick. Medical bills are difficult to pay.  Recently I went to the emergency room because I was having really bad chest pains, it was the start of pneumonia. They gave me antibiotics and pain medicine and it hasn’t started working yet. That’s my story.

– Charity, Illinois