31 Days of CF: Resilience Comes with Struggle

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by BNS Staff |

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31 Days of CF

Photo courtesy of Marc Cotterill

Day 20 of 31

This is Marc Cotterill’s story:

My name is Marc Cotterill. I’m 39 years old and a business architect and creative from the U.K. I was born with a life-limiting condition, cystic fibrosis (CF). 

Being born with CF undeniably places you at an immediate disadvantage, and you have to work harder than every other person in the room to achieve the same outcome. You are constantly met with obstacles, failure, and bad news. This affects your physical and mental health, and to survive, you have to find and adopt methods to help you through these difficult times. 

My method is “work.”

Allow me to provide an example. 

There is a whole other side to CF beyond keeping healthy, and it is one of self-worth and body image. There’s a nervousness you feel that someone might see CF within you. As a young man of 17, this aspect of CF was revealing itself more and more. I asked myself, “what can I do so I don’t look unhealthy?” 

The answer is work. 

The work required to be consistent with CF treatments, I believe, creates a foundation of work ethic. CF trains you to work hard now and invest time today in the hope of a return on that investment way into the future, and that, in itself, is a lesson that can take others a lifetime to learn. 

CF provides us with a daily important reminder that perseverance is key — a reminder that to live a remarkable life, it is vital that we believe in ourselves and we commit to consistency, regardless of fear, doubt, or discomfort. 

Therefore, for all the discomfort CF puts us through, it creates something far more powerful: resilience. You are not resilient without struggle, and for me, CFers are some of the most resilient people I have ever met.

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 go here to see the full series.