3. Andrew Simmons
Andrew Simmons, best known as Andy Boy Simmonz, is a British professional wrestler who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. The combination may seem unusual, but Andrew, who was born in 1984, did not settle for the diagnosis and continued to be an active sportsman. He not only pursued a career as a wrestler, but he also achieved success in his sport. He won titles such as the Italian Tag Team titles w/James Tighe, the FWA British Tag Team titles w/Duke of Danger – at Hampton Court, the NCW European title, and CWC All In title. Andrew struggled with cystic fibrosis during his childhood, and he even considered retiring due to medical problems.
In 2006, he shared in a blog post the medical problems he was going through. “Is it really all worth it?
For the past 4 weeks, that’s what I been asking myself,” Andrew Simmons questioned after suffering a lesion in his leg. “I am writing this mainly as I’m not sure yet whether I’ll be coming back to wrestling, I’ve done nearly everything I’d have liked to have done in wrestling, plus a lot more. When I first started my training did I ever think I’ll go abroad on more than 12 different occasions, wrestle for WWE at Wembley Arena, wrestle the finest British wrestlers around and most importantly make some truly great friends.”
4. Bob Flanagan
Bob Flanagan was an American writer, poet, performance artistic and comic, who was born in 1952. Flannagan used his pain and struggle with cystic fibrosis as an object for his work. His sadomasochistic performances were based on his battle against the disease, although he was at the time, one of the longest-living survivors of cystic fibrosis. He died at the age of 43, in 1996, 17 years after the death of his older sister, Patricia, who was 21 when she succumbed to CF. Flanagan’s first of five books was published in 1978 and titled “The Kid is a Man.” He was also the protagonist of the 1997 documentary film “Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist,” which was directed by Kirby Dick.
One of his most famous mottos was “fight sickness with sickness.” Therefore, he explored sexual taboos in his work and was open about his sadomasochist relationship with wife Sheree Rose. “Why? Because it feels good. Because it gives me an erection,” he says in the video “Why“, written in 1985. “Because I’m sick, because there is so much sickness. Because I was alone a lot, because I was different, because kids beat me up on the way to school,” he continues in a parallel between his life choices and the struggles he faced due to cystic fibrosis.