Today we are hearing from Lauren Mathews a 27 year old born with cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis is a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time. Lauren was diagnosed at the age of 7 years old. Her parents took her to a local pediatrician because she was unable to gain weight. She weighed 32 pounds at that time.
“The pediatrician told my parents that “you should just be happy that she is going to be skinny”. Thank goodness I received a referral to the local Children’s Hospital!”
She has always been physically active and played multiple sports– all the way up into her college career. Lauren played basketball, softball, and ran cross county in high school. The physical activity helped keep her lungs healthy. At the beginning of her senior year, Lauren received a scholarship to play college softball. She went on to obtain a bachelor’s degree in fitness & wellness and a master’s degree in education. Lauren received both degrees from Tennessee Tech University. Now, she teaches K-8 physical education.
“I love my profession!”
She was extremely healthy up until half way through my college career, and then the flu/pneumonia changed her life forever. After spending a long period of time in the hospital, the infectious disease doctors found a multidrug-resistant bacteria that requires Lauren to be on three IV antibiotics for long periods of time. She usually stays on them for 6 months to a year and then takes a short break to give her body a chance to rest. Don’t forget the breathing treatments, chest therapy, 50+ pills , insulin, and all of the rest of the medications that are included into her daily routine.
“CF has never stopped me from living my best life. It would be easy to give up or stop fighting but I am too competitive. I always tell myself you have to play the hand you have been dealt and that God would have not given me anything I couldn’t handle. I am a strong individual and will continue to fight for a cure! In the past year, I have been encouraged to raise awareness and educate others about CF. I have always been really secretive about my illness up until this year. I didn’t want people to think of me as a “sick” person, but without awareness where would our disease be today?”
To follow Lauren’s story follow her on Instagram @livingthelunglife or CLICK HERE