"Dare to dream, dare to dream
All our brothers and sisters breathing free.
Unafraid, our hearts unswayed.
Til the story of CF is history." --Francis Collins
Francis Collins, the man credited with discovering the CF gene, wrote the above song when he and his team found the cause of cystic fibrosis in 1989. After years of diligent searching, Collins discovered that a misspelling in the CFTR gene accounted for virtually all cases of CF. He described the search for the misspelling in the DNA like searching for a specific, burned-out lightbulb in the basement of a house somewhere in the United States. The search was tedious and exhausting, to say the least, and took years to accomplish.
I love the song Collins wrote for CF advocates everywhere. Although it is only four short lines, I believe that it captures the essence of the CF community beautifully. Dare to dream--dare to dream of a brighter future, of a world where children and adults of all ages do not die from CF, of an escape from limitations due to health issues. All our brothers and sisters breathing free-- the CF community is like a family. We are all brothers and sisters, related by our unique fight to survive. Yet one day, we will breathe free. We will know what it feels like to take a "real" deep breath. Unafraid, our hearts unswayed-- we will fight without fear in our hearts, striving to defeat CF and fight off its physical attacks. We will stand together to raise money for a cure and awareness for our disease. We will make our voices known. Till the story of CF is history--we will not give up until CF is cured. We will press on until CF is no more. But until then, we will do our best to stay healthy. We will be thankful for every day we are blessed with. We will see beauty in God's creation. We will stick together, as a family, supporting each other, encouraging one another, listening to each other's hurts and pains, and offering unique advice based on certain situations. And that, my friends, is what it means to be part of the CF community.