31 Days of CF: How Will You Use Your Breath In This Life?

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by Marco Jiménez |

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Katie Osborn | Cystic Fibrosis News Today | CF header

Photo courtesy of Katie Osborn

Day 21 of 31

This is Katie Osborn’s story:

A young woman toting an IV pole whilst reciting Shakespeare is not something you often experience. But this image visibly expresses my full authentic identity. 

Hello! I’m Katie Osborn — an actor and cystic fibrosis warrior living out my dreams in NYC. 

Just like cystic fibrosis is in my DNA, being an actor is written on my soul. Since a young age, I’ve been compelled to use my imagination, voice, and movement to express the beauty, pain, and truth on any stage I could find or make — including the hospital.  

Is it the many years of masking my CF from the world around me (and at times, even from myself) that makes being an actor easy for me? No, quite the opposite. It is in accepting my body and breath with CF that allows me to freely give as an actor.

Living with CF, we have an acute body awareness, understanding of the body/breath connection, and emotional/mental stamina. Acting relies on one’s ability to utilize and strengthen these exact skills and asks you to honestly investigate the truth within yourself, your words, and the full spectrum of human experience. Fully integrating the lessons of CF with professional theater training provides me a deep understanding of how to use breath, why I use breath, and the power of using breath for the purpose of creating art that can change minds and hearts.

My life’s mission is to use my own breath, artistry, and passion to help every person value the gift of their own breath and embrace their authentic identity. “Breathe With Me” is a play I’ve created for each of you affected by CF — warriors, caregivers, partners, friends, so you can feel “seen” on stage and in life. 

When we collectively value the power of each breath and are bravely authentic, we create cultural movement towards authentic disability visibility and inclusion.

How will you use your breath in this one life?

Cystic Fibrosis News Today’s 31 Days of CF campaign will publish one story per day for Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month in May. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more stories like this, using the hashtag #31DaysofCF, or read the full series.