TSAOG’s Dr. Kevin Kirk has a son with Cystic Fibrosis, so this cause is very close to his heart. He has agreed to share his personal story to help raise awareness:
The day my son was born was one of the happiest days of my life. However, something was different. Two weeks later, we were informed that my son had been diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. I had learned about this disorder in medical school but never thought that it would affect “my” family. Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a life-threatening genetic disease that primarily affects the lungs and digestive system. An estimated 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide) have CF. In people with CF, a defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections. It also obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down food and absorb vital nutrients often causing diabetes.
Every day, my son wakes up and does thirty minutes of airway clearance, which involves nebulized medicines and a vest attached to a compressor that helps clear the mucus from his lungs. With breakfast, he takes two shots of insulin and a morning pill regimen which consists of 8 different pills. After that, he proceeds with his day like a normal teenager, except that with every meal and snack he takes another shot of insulin and 4 more pills. When he comes home from school, he does another nebulizer treatment and then goes to the gym for 2 hours and does cardio and weight training to keep him from getting sick. When he gets home from the gym, he does his homework, takes nighttime pills, and does another thirty minutes of airway clearance so that he can finally go to bed.
For those counting, that is over 40 pills, 10 insulin shots, and over one hour of airway clearance every day just to stay healthy. Even with his best efforts, sometimes he has to go to the hospital for “tune-ups”. He has been hospitalized almost every year of his life for up to two weeks at a time for IV antibiotics.
In the 1950s, few children with CF lived to attend elementary school. Since then, tremendous progress in understanding and treating CF has led to dramatic improvements in the length and quality of life for those with CF. Many people with the disease can now expect to live into their 30s, 40s, and beyond.
Donations to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation help fund the scientific research that adds tomorrows for those children and adults living with CF. Please consider participating in the 2015 Tower Climb and Run or making a small donation to help this worthy cause.
How You Can Help:
The Lone Star Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is TSAOG’s Charity of the Month for January. Please join us as we volunteer and participate in the 2015 Tower Climb and Run on Saturday, February 7th.
This year marks the 30th year of the Tower Climb and Run, sponsored by the Lone Star Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. It aims to raise awareness and money to work toward a cure for CF.
The Tower Climb and Run is a unique athletic event which offers not only a run, but a climb up 952 steps to the top of the Tower of the Americas, a San Antonio landmark! The event will be lots of fun, culminating in a party at the base of the Tower, featuring food, music, medals, and bragging rights.
Please join us in volunteering or participating in this event!! Sign up for the Tower Climb or Donate Now!