“OMG, WE CAN'T FIX THIS,” was our panicked mantra on the day we learned that our first son, Jack, had a terminal illness. He was 10 days old. In the months that followed, we learned a lot (a lot) about cystic fibrosis and how we could “manage” Jack's health so that he was poised to have as many tomorrows as possible.
Our plan had always been to have two children. The realization of this genetic condition that would give any of our children a 25% chance of having CF caused us to reconsider, but only for a short while. Jack was thriving under the watchful care of his pediatrician and the medical professionals at the Omaha Children's Hospital’s CF clinic, and we were supported on all sides by our family and friends. The CF Foundation quickly became a strong ally, empowering us with knowledge, connections and so importantly, the tools to fundraise and feel like we really could DO SOMETHING to ultimately FIX THIS. They gave us a hope for a very bright future for Jack. For our family.
A little over a year after Jack was diagnosed, we learned through amniocentesis that our second child, Abigail, would also spend her days living with CF. Hearing this news for a second time, we were not so panicked; we had so much more hope. We'd given Jack the gift of a partner in crime. Today Jack and Abigail are one another's allies. We watched proudly as Abigail took all of her medications and treatments in stride, looking up to her big brother the whole time. Even challenging him! Abigail learned how to swallow pills well before she turned two years old, and Jack quickly followed suit. CF can be an isolating disease, and we're happy knowing that they have one another to lean on, just as we have the CF clinic, our friends and family and the CF Foundation putting wind in our sails as we go forth on this journey to provide a full, happy life for our children.