Hey blog readers! Below is my annual CF letter. I hope that you will read it and maybe pass it along to a friend or two. As said in the letter, I will be attending the CF Walk in Austin this year, so anyone who wants to join me is more than welcome!!
Dear friends and family,
I hope you all are having a wonderful 2014 so far. I always love hearing about what is going on in your lives, whether I hear from you on a regular basis or just occasionally. I am so thankful for your presence in my life! Since my last letter, I have had my fair share of ups and downs. In May, I completed my sophomore year of college at Baylor University, still going strong with a 4.0 GPA. Over the summer, I had the privilege of working for Baylor’s reading and speech camp, called Camp Success, as a reading specialist. I learned so much while working Camp Success and truly loved my job helping kids improve their reading and writing skills. On the downside, over the summer I was also on IV antibiotics for a total of seven weeks and broke two ribs from coughing. Thankfully, I began feeling better in time to go back to Baylor to start my junior year. This year, I have continued to lead my connection group at Highland Baptist Church, become a preschool volunteer on Sunday mornings, cheered my bears on at all of the Baylor home football games and some basketball and baseball games, actively participated in my sorority, Sigma Phi Lambda, maintained my 4.0 GPA, and continued my job as a reading specialist at Baylor’s Language and Literacy Clinic. I have grown in my relationships with friends and with God, learned more than I thought possible, and continued to enjoy life. Through all of this, I am reminded of God’s faithfulness and blessings, and I am so thankful!
Over Christmas break, I had one of my toughest battles against cystic fibrosis. I was diagnosed with the flu the day I came home for break and began two different IV antibiotics. However, instead of healing, I got worse. My oxygen levels dropped, and I felt like I was suffocating. The flu turned into pneumonia, and I was placed in the hospital on oxygen and on a third IV antibiotic. The third antibiotic made me incredibly nauseous, and I threw up constantly. By the time I started feeling better, it was time to go back to Baylor for the spring semester. I try so hard to stay healthy by doing three breathing treatments a day, exercising at least five days a week, taking thirty-five pills a day, and staying on top of all my other health needs. However, Cystic Fibrosis is unexpected—I can’t control my health completely. I love verses like Psalm 73:26, which says, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever”; I am reminded that God is my strength, no matter what happens in my life.
There is a lot of hope and excitement in the CF community. Research is getting closer and closer to finding a cure for all people with CF. Drugs like Kalydeco are helping CF patients live longer, healthier lives. However, we’re not finished researching yet! There are several ways you can help people like me in the fight against CF. You can donate money to the CF Foundation, which is the main organization that funds research. Every penny counts, and we are so grateful! You can come out to the Austin Zoo on May 3rdand walk with my team, Ingram’s Eagles, to raise awareness about CF. My family and I will be there, and we would love your support. You can follow the link below to donate money and/or sign up for the walk. You can also send this letter to your friends and family so that they have the opportunity to donate money. The more people that are aware of CF, the better for the CF community. Finally, you can continue to support me in prayer and encouragement. I need people like you to push me to fight and to inspire me to never give up. I appreciate all of you more than you know. Thank you for standing with me!