Boy Battling Cystic Fibrosis Finds Role Model in FSU Seminoles Outfielder

When he was just three years old, Florida State Seminoles outfielder Jaime Ferrer was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, a chronic condition where the pancreas makes little to no insulin. Ferrer began looking up to role models in the sports community, ready to follow in their footsteps.

Today, Ferrer – a 2023 Golden Torch Award winner and participant on the All-ACC Academic Team – has become a role model himself. His journey resonated with seven-year-old Bradley Wombles, who has cystic fibrosis.

Sydney Wicker reports for WCTV that Wombles has always been a Seminoles fan. But when he realized that Ferrer, his favorite player, also had a life-changing disease, his fascination with Seminoles baseball only grew.

Wombles was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis shortly after birth. Unfortunately, his cystic fibrosis does not respond well to CFTR modulators, a class of medication commonly used to treat this disease. His family continues to advocate for better research and drug development. You can follow their journey on Facebook.

In the meantime, Wombles attends or watches every FSU Seminoles game he can. And Ferrer does his part too. He has shared wristbands reading: “Bradley Battle Buddies” with his teammates and wears the wristbands himself during games. The Seminoles have also signed balls for Wombles; they love knowing that they can bring a smile to his day.

Wombles and Ferrer’s burgeoning friendship truly highlights the power of sports.

Understanding Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is a rare, progressive genetic condition caused by CFTR gene mutations. Normally, CFTR regulates salt movement throughout the body. These mutations disrupt chloride channel function, leading to unusually thick and sticky mucus. This mucus accumulates in the respiratory and digestive tracts, leading to varied impacts from difficulty breathing to poor nutrient absorption. While cystic fibrosis is rare, it is more common in those of Caucasian descent.

Cystic fibrosis is usually diagnosed at or near birth through newborn screening. Later, when symptoms begin appearing, these symptoms may include:

  • Persistent coughing and wheezing
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Shortness of breath and/or difficulty breathing
  • Impaired production of insulin or digestive enzymes
  • Salty-tasting skin
  • Male infertility
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Malnutrition
  • Repeated lung infections
  • Stuffy nose
  • Poor weight gain
  • Cystic fibrosis-related diabetes mellitus
  • Meconium ileus (an intestinal blockage that occurs shortly after birth)

Treatments include antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications, CFTR modulators, bronchodilators, pancreatic enzymes, chest and exercise therapy, and surgery. If you or your child has CF, please speak with your doctor about the best course of action.

Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn has an educational background in writing and marketing. She firmly believes in the power of writing in amplifying voices, and looks forward to doing so for the rare disease community.

Follow us