Dear friends and family,
I hope you all have had a very blessed 2012-2013 year. This year has been a whirlwind for me! In May, I completed my freshman year at Baylor University with a 4.0 GPA. True to my normal fashion, my summer was full of many activities. I volunteered at a speech pathology clinic and fell more in love with my future profession. My family went on an Alaskan cruise, where we zip lined through the dense forests, saw amazing wildlife, and even took a floatplane over the Misty Fjords. I also took a summer school class required for my degree program. When I began my sophomore year in August of 2012, I was refreshed and ready for another awesome year at Baylor. My sophomore year has been so much greater than I could have even imagined. I’ve supported my Bears at sporting events, grown more mature in my relationship with God, made incredible, life-long friendships, continued to be plugged in at Highland Baptist Church and am leading a Community Group, rushed Sigma Phi Lambda, maintained my 4.0 GPA, and gotten a job as a reading specialist in Baylor’s Language and Literacy Clinic. Reflecting over the past year, I am blown away by God’s goodness and favor in my life.
No matter the circumstances of my year, I strive to always be joyful and content because my God is Sovereign and completely trustworthy. That being said, this year has had its challenges. Over the summer, I was scheduled for a last-minute sinus surgery that was completely unexpected. I don’t know if I’ve ever been as miserable as I was for the first week after the surgery. I couldn’t breathe, especially at night, which means I didn’t sleep at all. I've received IV antibiotics twice, including a week while I was at school in January. I've been diagnosed with anemia and have added iron supplements to my daily pill count. And I continue to do all I can to remain healthy, doing breathing treatments, popping 35 pills a day, exercising regularly, going to the doctor, and carefully following research developments, all while balancing my social, academic, and spiritual life. Let me tell you, living with CF can be exhausting!! However, through the good times and the bad, I can't help but proclaim Psalm 105:4--"Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!"
There is great hope in the CF community. Scientists are working diligently to find a cure as well as improve CF patients' quality of life while dealing with the symptoms of CF. Vertex Pharmacy released a new drug called Kalydeco, which treats the cause of CF in people with a specific type of mutation. Now, there are 2 more drugs being studied with Kalydeco in people with the most common mutation. Every day, we're getting closer to finding a cure for CF! There are four ways you can help people like me in my fight against Cystic Fibrosis. First, you can donate money to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The CF Foundation raises the majority of money given to research facilities around the country. Your monetary gifts provide the funds needed to continue discovery and drug development. Second, you can come out to the Great Strides Walk at Concordia University on May 18th to support those with CF. My family and I will be there and would love to have your support! You can follow the link below to donate money online and/or sign up for the walk. You can also send money to my home address listed below (make checks payable to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation), and my family will turn it in on the day of the walk. Third, please send this letter to one or two friends and ask them to consider donating money or joining you the day of the walk to raise awareness about Cystic Fibrosis. Lastly, you can remain my awesome support system. I need people like you to encourage me, pray for me, and hold me accountable. I appreciate you all more than you know. Thank you for standing beside me for yet another year, fighting to cure CF!