Today we chatted with 17 year old Thomas Griffith. Thomas lives in Howard County, Maryland and enjoys playing football for his high school team, recreational basketball, and LEGOS are by far his favorite thing to play with.
Thomas says that football best represents him because he is though, determined and does whatever it takes. As a football player he knows that in order to win the game you have to be determined, motivated and tough. He takes this mentality into football, Cystic Fibrosis (CF), and school work. Thomas was diagnosed with CF at four years old. His mom always knew something was wrong but doctors couldn’t put their finger on what was wrong. He always had stomach issues and didn’t develop like he should have, even though he was eating twice as much. He was misdiagnosed with lactose intolerance at four years old but his stomach issues became so bad he was hospitalized. A nurse then suggested that Thomas’ parents look into CF and see if that was the issue.
Thomas’ daily routine starts early. On school days he wakes up at 5:30 AM to do nebulizers (sodium chloride and pulmozyme) and an airway clearance vest. After that he eats breakfast and takes all the pills needed to maintain CF. These pills include trikafta, enzymes (to help absorb nutrients from food), supplements, azithromycin, and culturelle. He makes sure to take the pills with a big breakfast. He takes more enzymes at lunch and for an after school snack. At night he takes his nightly pills (similar to the ones he takes in the morning).
Sports help Thomas manage CF. Playing football on his school team and lifting weights after school in the spring with his teammates helps keep him active and healthy. He also enjoys playing outside with his friends. Daily activity helps keep his lung function stable which is vital to his health.
Thomas would consider himself lucky. Even with the plethora of medication, daily vest and nebulizer sessions and nutrition demands he considers himself lucky. He says that because he doesn’t feel symptoms of CF for the most part. He occasionally will have bad stomach pain that often comes from food. He says his lungs are solid and doesn’t cough much. He says he has been lucky with his lungs.
When asked what he wants others to know about the CF community he said everything happening with CF right now is amazing. There are so many amazing things happening with new medications, research, and fundraising across the country. He says,
“My hope for the future is a cure in a decade or two. That no one has to live like I and many others with CF, that they experience a normal life and don’t have to take all the medication and do all the treatments that we do now. I am just thankful for everyone who donates and fundraises for people like me. It gives me hope for cure.”-Thomas Griffith
We provide fun events to raise money for CF research and our goals aline with Thomas. We want a day when people are diagnosed with CF we can provide a cure. We can take away the pain, pills, treatments, hospitalizations, and isolation that go with CF. One day those with CF won’t have to worry about germs, bacteria or even time. They will have the ability to grow old and build a family. Thank you Thomas for sharing your story.
CLICK HERE to donate and help us make Thomas’ dream come true