When my daughter was diagnosed at birth with cystic fibrosis (CF), I wasn’t sure life would ever be normal again. That was almost 6 years ago. And while life is different, it is definitely normal. There’s been doctor’s visits, and daily therapy. But there’s also been preschool, dance class, swimming lessons, temper tantrums, sibling rivalry, and princess parties.
Unfortunately, in the last few years, I’ve learned that many parents choose to abort their children after prenatal testing comes back positive for CF. Despite amazing medical advancements that are allowing people with CF to live healthier and longer lives, many doctors tell parents that their child will live a life of constant illness and frequent hospitalizations. They tell parents that their child will suffer on a daily basis. And that misinformation leads to the abortion of up to 90% of unborn children diagnosed with CF.
Thankfully, word is spreading that life with CF is improving. And the band OneRepublic is helping to get that message across to the world with their new video for their song, I Lived.
The video features real life CF patient, Bryan and his life. It shows him doing everything and more that the average child does. The video opens with him putting on his vest, which is a therapy he does daily, and he describes what CF is. Then, through home videos, we get to see how Brian lives.
Playing, biking, riding a tractor, falling down and getting back up, waterskiing, surfing, jetskiing, rollerblading, skiing, playing hockey, rock climbing, skateboarding. I’m not sure there’s anything Bryan hasn’t done. He has even ridden over 1,200 miles on his bike to raise over $30,000 for CF research.
When it comes to CF, Bryan says:
It’s just one of those things that makes you appreciate life. […] I want to make the most out of my life and have the most fun that I can.
OneRepublic’s video I Lived, which has had over a million views on YouTube, illustrates beautifully that life is to be lived, no matter what circumstances surround us. It doesn’t matter if you have CF or Down syndrome or any other condition. Life is meant to be lived to the best of your abilities. As the lyrics say:
The only way you can know is give it all you have. And I hope that you don’t suffer, but take the pain. Hope when the moment comes, you’ll say… I, I did it all. I, I did it all. I owned every second that this world could give. I saw so many places, the things that I did. Yeah, with every broken bone, I swear I lived.
Everyone deserves a chance to live their life. Parents who are learning that their unborn child has a condition like CF deserve to know the truth about what it means to live with such a condition. Because, as Bryan and OneRepublic show us, life is good, even with CF.