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Volunteer Advocate
cf insights cf insights

This is for the Parents

With back-to-school being top of mind, it’s impossible to ignore the wonderful work parents do to advocate, care for, and support children with CF. And our community agrees! We asked some grown-ups with CF what they’d like to say to their parents now:

  • “I owe my life to my parents. In 1965 I was taken in by my parents when they were in their early 50’s, knowing that I was a special needs child and that my life expectancy was 4 years old. Their four children had already grown up and were now having children of their own. How can I truly portray the personal and financial sacrifices that they made to make sure that I received the care that I needed. If it weren’t for their total dedication to my wellbeing, I would not be alive today. My parents are no longer alive, but are with me every hour of every day as they gave me to tools to become the fighter that I am.” – Brenda Chambers-Ivey
  • “I would like to thank my parents for encouraging me to pursue my dreams, and for engraining in my head that even though I have CF I am deserving and worthy of success and happiness. My mom never left my side in 24 years; everything I went through, she went through. She is my best friend and biggest cheerleader. My dad has stood by me through everything too; even though I’m not biologically his child he treats me as if I was his very own. I have the most incredible parents and I owe all of my successes and triumphs to their unwavering support.” – Meaghan Macrury
  • “One thing that I would like to thank my parents for…that is a tough one. When my parents learned I had cystic fibrosis, it was a long time ago (late 70s). A lot has changed since that time. From the start, my parents began to frame my perspective on life (unbeknownst to be right away). I was taught to strive to be involved in activities that I enjoyed and to fully engage them, and life for that matter, with passion. I found athletics. Athletics not only offered a healthy lifestyle but a way for a shy boy to get be involved socially. This laid the groundwork for a lifelong passion in healthy active living. This passion framed my perspective, which was further honed in university and ultimately during my career as a physical education teacher and coach.” – AlexMcCombes
  • “I thank my parents for absolutely everything. Without them, I wouldn’t have been raised to do the things I want. CF was treated as a mild inconvenience rather than an all in compassing death sentence when I was little.( I was lucky to be a pretty healthy CF patient as a child and still pretty healthy as an adult). My parents taught me to be diligent when it came to my therapies and raised me to still be empathic towards others as much as I’m sure they wanted everything to be about me, as I was living with an incurable, fatal disease.” – Jess Best
  • “For giving me the will to fight for my life and teaching me how to enjoy the moments handed to me despite living with a heavy heavy burden that could a make my life short.” – Timothy Vallillee
  • “My parents have always managed to have a simultaneously pragmatic and optimistic approach to dealing with my CF, and that has made such an incredible difference in my ability to cope with CF as an adult. I am so grateful for their examples of hoping for the best, planning for the worst, and making sure to have a laugh along the way.” – Terra Stephenson
  • “I would like to thank my parents for encouraging me to take responsibility for my own health and educating myself about my condition and rights as a patient. They’re very supportive, but they also taught me to be proactive and independent and that is extremely important when you’re dealing with a chronic illness.” – Abby McFee
  • “My parents never told me I couldn’t do things because of CF. Taking pills and managing my CF was a part of everyday life for me but they always encouraged me to do the things I wanted. I always felt just like any other kid. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I really understood how different CF made me.” – Mackenzie Norris
  • “I don’t think I can possibly thank my parents for just one thing, but in an attempt to keep things short and simple, I’d thank them for the continued, unconditional, and loving support they have always provided. I quite simply wouldn’t and couldn’t be who I am today without them. They’ve encouraged me to follow my passion, they’ve supported me through the hardest moments of my life, they’ve been my voice of reason, a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, and more recently as I’ve become a new Mom, they’ve provided more support than I could have ever imagined possible. I hit the jackpot when it comes to parents. I’m so incredibly lucky to have them by my side and am so very grateful for everything they’ve done for us. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for all that you do.” – Kim Wood
  • “Promoting healthy exercise and sports that helped me have an excellent lung function for many years.” – Rob Burtch


Have insights you would also like to share? To be quoted in our blog please contact Terra at tgillespie@cysticfibrosis.ca