Advocacy and Abnormality – a Column by Kristin Entler

Making Plans Amid an Uncertain Future

With the new year looming around the corner, and my school semester crawling to a close, I want to set my sights on all the things I’d like to do next year — attend my first in-person live event since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, travel to…

It’s Hard to Get Into the Spirit of the Holidays

This week, the university I both attend and teach at returns from Thanksgiving break, and I’m coming to terms with the realization that I’m afraid of the coming holiday season. This isn’t a new phenomenon; I’ve had a lot of bad luck in my life at the holidays. When I…

The Pros and Cons of Disclosing My Disability

I don’t remember why I said what I said to the little girl I had just met on the playground. “I have something called cystic fibrosis.” Maybe I was coughing or short of breath. Or maybe we were exchanging secrets in the tunnel bridge. I don’t remember what game we…

My Disabilities Grant Me Accommodations, but Give Me Guilt

While the world could be more accommodating to people with disabilities, I’ll admit I feel guilty that I’m allowed to register for my college classes 48 hours before my nondisabled peers. This priority access is available to any disabled student, thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),…

I’m Learning to Accept My Body’s Sleep Cycle

“Do all my friends hate me? Or do I just need to get some sleep?” Stand-up comedian John Mulaney’s punchline cuts through the hum of nearby tree frogs. The light from the TV casts a blue glow on my apartment’s white walls, and the volume is set to a whisper…

Returning to the Clinic Means Lung Test Anxiety Again

Through the sliding glass doors and down the stairs of the medical plaza, the midday news played — muted, but with captions running — on the TV mounted across from the reception desk. The water fountain hummed. Where I live, case numbers from the COVID-19 pandemic remain high, and medical…

Trusting a Future Where I Do More Than Just Survive

When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced two years ago it had approved Trikafta (elexacaftor/tezacaftor/ivacaftor) for some cystic fibrosis (CF) patients 12 and older, I carried what I considered to be a healthy amount of skepticism about the hype. Articles like this one from The Washington Post…

Questioning the Psychology of Need

Three days before my first semester away from home, I sat in a sea foam green chair straight out of the 1990s. I was 20, six months shy of graduating to my city’s adult CF clinic from the pediatric one, and sitting across from a doctor who was telling me…


Featured Column

How to Ask for and Offer Help

A banner for Kate Delany's "Breathe and Believe" column that depicts a pair of lungs with flowers blossoming from them.
In times of need, we may not know how to ask for help or offer it to others. Columnist Kate Delany shares helpful tips on how to do it.

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