CF is something that people may have heard in passing, but not truly know what it’s like. They may have heard that it’s like breathing through a straw every day, but they can’t possibly know what that’s like. They may have heard that CFers usually die young, but they don’t know what that feels like to hear about themselves. CF is hard. CF is a daily challenge. CF is my life.
My name is Jordan Gardiner and I am 26 years old. I was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when I was about three months old. I currently live in a small Northern Ontario city, North Bay. My fiancée and I recently purchased a house and have stepped into the true “adulting” world. I recently graduated from a paramedic program and have my license to practice as a PCP, primary care paramedic. This program is one of the most rewarding experiences I have had, with meeting new people, and learning so many new things. I can’t wait to begin my career as a paramedic within our city.
We also recently took over a volleyball league that was started by my mother about 10 years ago, with all proceeds going to CF research. This keeps us very busy, but it’s lots of fun, as volleyball is one of my favourite pastimes. I’ve been playing volleyball since I was in grade seven, just a young boy. I played for Canadore College for five years on scholarship as well as competitive beach volleyball. This is certainly one part of my life that keeps me healthy. Staying active is such an important part of living with this disease and I am lucky I found a sport that I love to help me do this.
Although I haven’t always been as healthy as I currently am, I know I am a lucky one. When I was 12 years old I was diagnosed with pseudomonas, which is a bacteria that anyone can catch, however for someone with CF, it is very dangerous and can be deadly. Pseudomonas is a very difficult infection to beat. Part of the treatment included 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes at night of additional treatment and medication. Living with CF is a constant uphill battle. There are good days, and there are bad days. I also went through a stage of depression when I turned 20. I couldn’t figure out what the point was anymore. I knew that my life was going to be cut short, and I got roped into video games. In the games you can die over and over again, and you still come back to life. In reality, I felt that my life was going to be over soon, so there was no point in trying anymore. It wasn’t until I was brought back into the world of volleyball and realized all of the love that was around me that I knew it wasn’t even close to my time to give up. Giving up is not an option anymore. I was ready to fight, and I still fight every day.
With support from Canadians, we have a much better chance of making CF stand for cure found. It means that all the younger CFers out there have a better chance of living a longer and healthier life. Donating this year means that my family would not have to worry about me as much. It also would mean that I wouldn’t have to worry if I will get to have my own family or be able to see my future children grow up. It would mean that I could have a chance to walk my future daughter down the aisle or see my future son graduate from university. It is so important and I am so thankful for all of the support that I have personally gotten, and CF Canada has received as well. A donation today, or any day, means that children with CF can grow up and see their future families grow as well.
For Jordan and everyone else affected by CF, be the reason for a cure: http://bit.ly/2ADWJym