Ever have one of those days when you just weren’t feeling very enthused about your life? You know what I’m talking about. Those ho-hum blues. Those days when you don’t want to face the world cuz:
You’re feeling tired.
Maybe your dog made a huge mess on your floor!
Your daughter forgot to call you on your birthday!
Your car is in the shop and it’s gonna cost you $750 big ones to repair!
Yeah. We’ve all had them. But after reading about a very brave little boy with cystic fibrosis, Azer Russell, and his mom, I tell ya, we have no excuse—not to be positive!
Azer is an amazing 11-year-old who has cystic fibrosis (CF), a life-threatening genetic disease that affects the secretory glands that make sweat and mucus.
In the lungs, for instance, mucus builds up and blocks air passages making it difficult to breathe. And while there is no cure, the good news is that in most cases it can be treated, although it requires significant monitoring, care management, and lifestyle adjustments every day, multiple times per day.
Despite these challenges, Azer is determined to enjoy as much as he can in life. According to his mother, Lydia, he is fairly active now and is craaaazy about playing baseball. It wasn’t always like that, though.
A few years ago, Azer’s health was in jeopardy after getting sick with repeated lung infections. When his doctors told them that this might be Azer’s new “normal,” Lydia refused to accept it. She went online at CysticLife.org and talked with other moms and dads about their children’s CF and how they managed it.
The feedback she got was all about the importance of adhering to a regular exercise program.
After checking with his doctors, both Lydia and Azer began an exercise routine. They started out walking slowly in hopes that it would help break loose some of the mucus, but that wasn’t enough. So Lydia reported back to her peers on CysticLife.org about their challenges, and received encouragement to try running for one minute, then slowly, building up to running short distances—and to stick with it!
It took several months, but Azer gained stamina. Step by step, stride by stride, they’re now able to endure 30-minutes of jogging!
What a dynamic duo they’ve become!
How fantastic is that?! Makes me wanna do my HAPPY DANCE!
This month, PatientWorthy is teaming up with CysticLife.org to spotlight some of the members of their awesome community!
CysticLife.org sprang from a blog started by CF patient Ronnie Sharpe to track his life and exercise routine. Since then, it has grown into a vibrant social network boasting over 8,000 members exchanging tips, ideas, and encouragement.
Along with providing resources like educational videos and reading materials, CysticLife.org is collaborating with the Mayo Clinic for a community-driven research project investigating the benefits of exercise for CF patients.