Wednesday, March 22, 2017

CF letter 2017

Dear friends and family, 

Happy 2017! I hope this letter finds you in good health and that you all are doing well. Since my last letter, I’ve had a bit of a crazy year. I have continued making my way through grad school, working in a variety of settings with a variety of clients. I have loved grad school and am so excited to become a speech-language pathologist! I know this is exactly where God has placed me. In May (right before the CF walk), I will graduate Summa Cum Laude from the University of Texas at Dallas with my master’s degree and will officially enter the working world. It’s a little terrifying because I’ve been in school for so long, but I’m excited to see what lies ahead. As well, I have another bit of wonderful news—I’m engaged!! Eric (my fianc√©) is amazing and so supportive. He is not scared off by my CF, and he is so willing to learn everything he can about my health. We are getting married in July, and we are so thrilled!

My health has been a bit rocky this year. Every time I got a cold in the fall, it turned into a full blown lung infection. I was on IVs in August and had to go in to the hospital because I needed to change my IV antibiotics. I was on IVs again in December after my PFTs dropped into the 40s. At the beginning of January, just two weeks after finishing my course of IVs in December, I started feeling extremely short of breath. My heart rate was high, and I started requiring oxygen (a new experience for me). After a few days in the hospital, the doctors found a blood clot in my lungs. I started on a blood thinner, but after two weeks, I went back in the hospital, needing to switch blood thinners. I am finally starting to feel better, but the recovery has been a long journey, and I am still not fully recovered. Needless to say, the past year has been difficult on my lungs. I’m hoping and praying for stabilization of my lung function and for a healthier year.

This is a great time for CF research. There are so many amazing studies going on! Some of you may remember I took part in a Vertex study last year. While I was taken off the study drug in August after data showed the drug did not help my specific mutations, I was so glad I had the opportunity to be in the study and contribute to the fight for the cure! Without willing participants, CF research cannot move forward. Similarly, without donations from people like you, companies like Vertex cannot continue to understand CF and the best way to treat it. Every donation, every prayer, every Facebook post, and every mention of cystic fibrosis helps raise awareness and, in turn, funds for CF research. My family and I will be participating in the annual Great Strides Walk in Dallas on May 13th at Vitruvian Park. We would love for you to join us! If you would like to sign up for the walk or would like to donate to the CF Foundation (or both!), go to the link at the bottom of this page. Thank you all so much for your love, support, and prayers! CF can’t be beaten without the help of dear friends and family like you all. I am very grateful to have all of you in my corner!

Emily Ingram

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