Cystic fibrosis does not have to stop you from achieving your goals. It sure didn’t stop these people.
Lisa Bentley, a Canadian triathlon athlete, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis as an adult in her 20’s. Born in 1968, she has already surpassed the average life expectancy of people with CF and she continues to live an extremely active life. Lisa stresses the importance of strict adherence to treatment regimens and exercise for people living with CF. With more than 20 Ironman competitions under her belt, the strategy certainly seems to be working for her.
Gunnar Esiason, the son of former NFL football star Boomer Esiason and his wife Cheryl, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at the age of two. He is now a teenager following in his father’s footsteps as a quarterback on his high school football team. Ironically, Boomer was involved in cystic fibrosis awareness and fundraising campaigns for several years before his son’s diagnosis. Boomer is the founder of the Boomer Esiason Foundation, a non-profit organization that seeks to promote CF research and improve the lives of people with cystic fibrosis.
Nolan Gottlieb, former player and now assistant basketball coach at Anderson University in South Carolina, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis in childhood. He struggled with poor growth in his teen years, but after having a feeding tube placed in his stomach he shot up to the 6’1” basketball player who eventually landed a spot on Anderson’s varsity basketball team. Like many other athletes with cystic fibrosis, Gottlieb stresses the importance of physical activity for people with CF and hopes that his story will inspire other young people struggling with the disease to pursue their dreams.
Fraser Brown, son of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis as a result of routine newborn screening tests. The diagnosis came as a surprise to the Browns, who did not know they were carriers of the CF defect. Fraser celebrated his second birthday in July of 2008 and is reportedly doing well. His story is a testimony of the benefits of newborn screening for cystic fibrosis.