Victorious - a Column by Brad Dell

hope, funeral, social, ableism, funeralBrad Dell is a Deaf 27-year-old with cystic fibrosis. He received a double-lung transplant from UC San Francisco in January 2017, then cochlear implants nine months later. He now lives in Hawaii, where he was raised. Usually he’s traveling the world, chugging coffee, mentoring college students, or studying theology. Otherwise, he’s working as the director of columns at BioNews, the publisher of CF News Today. (OK, he’s still drinking coffee while he works.) He writes to undo the taboo surrounding lung transplantation. Catch him on Instagram at @coffee.cats_

Things I Wish I’d Done to Improve My CF Treatment

Twenty-four years of living with cystic fibrosis allows for a plethora of learning lessons — mostly through mistakes I’ve made. There are many things I wish I had done differently regarding my health to improve the effectiveness of my treatment. If I knew then what I know…

Perspective Sits in Places: Overcoming My Trauma

Many label their lives with cystic fibrosis a “battle.” I prefer “war.”* There’s the daily grind: The clinic visits are strategic meetings. The treatments are patrols. The two-week antibiotic courses are skirmishes. Then there are the defining moments of the war — the brutal flare-ups when bacteria or…

In Appreciation of Siblings

In ancient home videos of the Dell family, there’s shot after shot of my sister Shelby clinging to me tightly while I cringe. That was a good illustration of our relationship, until recently. I was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis a few months after…

7 Tips for Managing Your Pain

I’d been anticipating my bilateral cochlear implant surgery for more than a year. I knew it required some drilling into my skull, cuts behind the ear, and having devices shoved into my cochlea. I did not expect to be restricted to Tylenol…

Practical Tips for Improving Treatment Compliance and Efficiency

Only 61.8 percent of cystic fibrosis patients comply with their daily respiratory medication and 41.2 percent comply with physiotherapy plans, according to a 2008 study. I’ve observed that most patients and their parents want to be perfectly compliant — they just haven’t formed good strategies for…

The 6 Doctors You’ll Meet in Your Cystic Fibrosis Journey

You’ll meet legions of doctors throughout your life with cystic fibrosis. You’ll encounter doctors you adore and who will save your life countless times. And you’ll encounter some who make life a nightmare. Here are six “characters” you’re bound to meet, plus things they’re likely to say, at…

A Letter to CF Parents

Dear parent, I know you’re afraid. My parents were afraid, too. My mom left a college biology class crying; the lesson on genetics included the life expectancy of a child with cystic fibrosis. There’s an old home video of her talking to Baby Bradley before I was diagnosed. I was…

Mistakes I Made in the War for My Mind

I fought cystic fibrosis for 15 years before the overwhelming burden collapsed. My family was driving to get dinner when my brain and heart suddenly exploded. I was sobbing and gasping for breath, able to hear every rapid pound of my heart against my ribs. I couldn’t think,…


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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