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_

Why I Shout My Story

A dad at the church I attend came up to me and said his newborn daughter had been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. He looked tired; his motivation for telling me was mostly to ensure that the situation wouldn’t be a cross-infection problem (it isn’t yet, due to…

The Scenes in ‘Five Feet Apart’ that Tore My Heart

Heard enough about “Five Feet Apart” yet? I know you’re begging to read just one more piece about it, right? I saw the movie about a week after its release and wasn’t planning to write about it. Certainly not about how ethically (and cinematically) good or bad the…

Don’t Distance Yourself from Your OG Carers

We sat in pristine sands shadowed by titanic sentries dubbed The Twelve Apostles. At the southern end of Australia, I assume they guard against Antarctic penguins, like how The Wall in “Game of Thrones” defended against White Walkers. Maybe an invasion of penguins wouldn’t be bad. “I…

Brad Dell: The Man Without Fear, Almost

Imagine how much easier cystic fibrosis (CF) would be if we didn’t have fears. What if we stared death in the eye and laughed? Age 23 was destined to be my last year on earth. Hospital staff had that awkward talk with my family and girlfriend…

A Life Intimate with Death Is Not a Life Deprived of Beauty

I gaze through a frosted window on a mountaintop near Lake Tahoe. It’s a church youth group retreat. The students play in the snow, sledding and laughing. I’m sipping Earl Grey while scrawling notes into a journal — combined with snowfall, it’s a recipe for sentimentality. I glimpse…

My CF Symptoms Have Made Easy Bullying Targets

Editor’s note: This column discusses suicide. Sometimes, the day is raw, a knife grinding round and round and round in my gut. The day also almost feels like fiction; a thing I’d prefer to fade into my life annals among the other bad things, mere pen strokes that have long…

What Storm Drain Adventures Taught Me About CF Treatments

I have a story for you. In my teens, I often ditched CF treatments to explore storm drains beneath my Hawaii suburban neighborhood. When entering the concrete tunnels (maybe 15 feet in height and width), they’re so dark it feels like you’re stepping into nothing, a vortex. Many…


Featured Column

Don’t Overlook Emotional Wellness When Dealing With Chronic Illness

A banner for Lara's column, depicting a car on a road trip winding through a forest.
Living with a chronic illness can affect emotional wellness, writes columnist Lara Govendo, who offers up some ideas for managing both.

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