Author Archives: Brad Dell

Unbearable Medical Costs Are a Systemic Injustice for the Disabled

My message is simple: It is a systemic injustice, even ableist, to heap unbearable financial burdens on people with disabilities (PwD). Before I continue: This column doesn’t critique political parties or provide solutions; it raises red flags so others are mobilized to finding solutions. This column focuses on issues…

We, the Wounded, Must Share the Burden of Fear

She seemed cool and collected when her big surgery date was confirmed. And the next day, Britt seemed better than fine — super, even. She was a blond blur of energy, a real firecracker, flinging jokes this way and that in her thick New Englander accent. I…

Stillness Silences the Sound of Striving

Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers of the film “Sound of Metal.” I yearn for the days I drew close, very close, to death. Each thought, emotion, and sight weighed heavy with significance. And each breath was precious; who knew if there’d be another? I’d become deaf, and…

My Life (and Death) Is More Than Statistics and Dead Dreams

It’s not my birthday or my lung transplant anniversary or anything. But today, I’m thinking about being old-ish. I’m thinking about how Mom realized my life expectancy in college biology, and how I realized it in middle school biology. I’m thinking about the times I drove myself nuts by…

How a Romance’s Death Led Me to Finding a More Powerful Love

I’ve been in love. It was magnificent. It also hurt. Love belongs among the most powerful building blocks of our cosmos. Passion drives creation, compassion nurtures it. Blend the two for love. Tragically, I’ve found that adding a sick body to the mix can threaten the balance. Passion wanes as…

What Will You Do to Ensure Others Aren’t Excluded?

I’ve often written that “the disease itself isn’t the worst part, rather it’s the …” The medication side effects, the childhood trauma, the dread, the blah, blah, blah. Today, it’s the social exclusion. Post-transplant, I’m not very excluded. Sure, I can’t eat sushi with my friends, and most…

I Am a Lung Transplant Recipient, and I Had COVID-19

At the start of November, I was infected with COVID-19. My heart rammed repeatedly and rapidly against my sternum, which had been broken four years earlier by lung transplant surgeons. I was dizzy, reeling from the local health department’s phone call informing me of my exposure to a person with…

A Life Stranger (and Better) Than Fiction

People often declare my life to be stranger than fiction. (It’s true, and it’s both a blessing and a curse.) Usually, that observation is followed by an urging for me to write a memoir. I reply that I’ve tried, but simply don’t know how to end it. I can’t tie…

If You’ve Lost Hope, Read This

I should’ve died years ago, but I’m too damn competitive. A doctor said I’d cross my high school graduation stage in a wheelchair, toting supplemental oxygen. “Challenge accepted,” I thought. Weeks later, I walked with my head held high and unobstructed by oxygen tubing. When I lost my mind due…


Featured Column

The Benefits of Being Sick

A banner for Lara's column, depicting a car on a road trip winding through a forest.
As columnist Lara Govendo reflects on her journey through CF and transplant, she realizes there are a surprising number of benefits.

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