Columns

If You Do Anything Today, Get a 2nd Opinion

Get the second opinion. I used to think second opinions were for privileged celebrities who dared to defy the doctoral hierarchies of the world. Those who don’t mind being branded as a “doctor hopper” or an “inconsistent patient” because they can pay for whatever bills or bylines that come their…

This Is Not Alex’s Story, It’s Ours

When I was a kid and adults learned that my younger sister, Mary, had cystic fibrosis, their standard response was a meaningful sigh coupled with a slow nod. Then, they’d often tell me, “Oh yes, I read the book.” I knew what they were going to say before the words…

We Need to Reframe Freedom Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

I didn’t want to write about this yet. Of course, I also thought COVID-19 would be over by now. From the very beginning of the pandemic, I had hoped, like so many others in the chronic illness community, that things would go differently. I always knew the pandemic wouldn’t end…

Dancing the ‘Tango: Chlorine’

If I were a superhero, my Achilles’ heel would be water. Before I illustrate, I must explain how anti-rejection medications work. A healthy immune system is trained to attack foreign bodies such as viruses because they’re often harmful. When I received my double-lung transplant in June 2019 due…

What It Means to Be ‘Just the Sister’

In many ways, I feel unqualified to write for a publication about cystic fibrosis. I was lucky enough to be born only as a CF carrier, while my younger brother, Brad, drew the short straw in the Punnett square game. Besides, my day-to-day life is no longer affected…

Writing Through It: Why I’m Here

It’s been a long time coming for me to write directly about my life with cystic fibrosis in a body that gives me no choice but to balance illness with society’s definition of a normal life. I am here, in part, to be honest, and to find connection within that…


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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