Dreams as big as yours and mine! Guest Post by Cheriz Kunkel.

If you think positively

Sound becomes Music

Movement Becomes Dance

Smile Becomes Laughter

Mind Becomes Meditation

And Life Becomes a Celebration….

~ Unknown

I am absolutely delighted to introduce you all to Cheriz Kunkel today, someone I have “met” along my journey since I started blogging in March this year. As most of you know by now, my dream to summit Kilimanjaro has been in the making for almost three years now. Plans changed, dates got shifted countless times, people dropped out, things changed but finally in just 24 days I leave to realise one of my biggest dreams. This trip was also the perfect opportunity for me to give something back in memory of my best friend, Emma Walker, a courageous Cystic Fibrosis warrior while walking this earth!  As the time draws ever closer to my departure date, I want to start introducing you to the faces behind Cystic Fibrosis ~ the CF warriors, the people who have dreams as big as you and I. It is for beautiful people, like Cheriz, that I am raising awareness and funds for, in hope that one day we find a cure for this illness.

Everybody, meet Cheriz… !

Hi, I’m Cheriz, I’m 27 with Cystic Fibrosis. I was diagnosed at birth. I have DDF508 mutations. My Cf affects my lungs, digestive track, bones, etc…blah blah blah. Here is the more exciting part: I’m currently working on my Real Estate License and hoping to start a Masters Degree in Public Administration soon. I love Advocating for others, whether its CF or any non profit organization. I do lots of theatre, stand-up comedy, dancing, recently started to jog-ish, and I have a weakness for furniture, designing buildings, movies, the environment, and grapefruit (even though that is counter productive to gaining weight).

I was thrilled to be asked to share with you all today.  So I wrote a short blog on how I see my relationship with CF…Enjoy.

If someone were to ask me, “What is one aspect of Cystic Fibrosis (CF) that most people don’t understand?” I would have to say how different CF is. I don’t mean how different it is to have CF compared to not having CF. I was born with CF I wouldn’t even know what life without CF is like. However, CF affects each patient differently. For example, there are over 1,000 different genetic mutations. CF has a wide range of ways it affects the body too: Lungs (biggest issue), kidneys, pancreas, sinuses, bones, joints, etc.; this makes it hard to know what to expect. So we learn to adapt. We adapt the number or types of treatments, we adapt how many pills we take, we adapt our schedules to fit medical procedures; we are chameleons. If I am traveling for a weekend I will do more stomach feeding at night to make up for extra calories I burnt and fewer calories taken in. I adapt the time I do treatments if I have play practice, class, or another commitment. If I’m on IV meds, I carry a large bag instead of my usual smaller purse. If my arthritis is bothering me, I wear different types of clothing. We learn to change for what our current medical situation needs. CF is like our own personal life coach and motivator.

I’ve seen my lack of effort take its toll (weight drop after not doing stomach feeding for a month) and I have seen my hard work pay off (increased lung function with increased exercise). What can be a better motivation than seeing directly how my life and daily activities can change my health? It is continually in the back of my mind. So even though it may be tough not knowing what to expect, I believe that my CF has made me a more organized, goal-oriented, responsible and sensible individual. My CF does not keep me from reaching my goals. I just may have to add a few more steps to get there and the best part is knowing I will be learning life lessons along the way.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cheriz, thank you for sharing yourself so openly with my blog readers, for letting us get a glimpse of what life with CF is like, for sharing your dreams and for agreeing to be my guest blogger today. It has been such an honour to meet you!

If you would like to connect with Cheriz and read more on her blog, Life of Cheriz, please click here. You can also check out her webpage by clicking here.

If you would like to support me in raising funds for this very worthy cause, please visit my BackABuddy fundraising page by clicking here and follow the simple steps to donate. All donations are hugely appreciated and will assist the South African Cystic Fibrosis Trust in caring for patients with CF, supporting CF clinics, raising public awareness and facilitating Cystic Fibrosis research in hope that we can one day find a cure.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cheriz age 27. w CF (DD508)
    Jun 14, 2012 @ 05:10:23

    Lara, Thank you so much for having me guestblog. I’m so touched that you asked. I can’t wait to hear all about your trip! You are truely inspiring! I’ll be watching your blog :-)

    Reply

    • Walking 4 Air
      Jun 14, 2012 @ 14:34:04

      Hey Cheriz, it was such a pleasure and I’m so glad you said yes!! I’ll definitely be keeping everyone posted and who knows maybe my readers will even get a post from the slopes of Kilimanjaro! :) 22 Days to go!

      Reply

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