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    • #13468
      Luisa Palazola
      Keymaster

      Original post here

      Hey guys! Today we have Gemma as our WCW! @gem.mcl is 24 years old and is from TX. This is what SHE considers important to her story with CF. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣

      💎I was diagnosed with CF at birth and was able to start treatments right away. My parents balanced teaching me about CF and allowing me to live a full life! I grew up taking river trips, camping, traveling, and exploring. I started doing theatre, writing, dancing, making art, and playing music from very early on. But, I became quiet about my illness. I didn’t want to be known for being sick, I wanted to be known for my singing, humor and art. I went on to attend @btwhspva.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣
      💎In high school, I had serious mental health problems, as I was coping with CF and my father’s stage IV cancer. I struggled with self harm and suicidal thoughts. I am really glad to have made it out of that part of my life, but it became harder before it got easier. I overcame more than one traumatic sexual assault, and deal with PTSD daily. After my dad died and I survived a suicide attempt, I left home to start life over in college.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣
      💎I began to heal with school and theatre. I met my amazing boyfriend, Eric, as well as friends that I’ll have forever. Once I started going to school and surrounding myself with people who loved me unconditionally, I started to heal. I started to love myself again and because of that, I started to really care about my health and take CF seriously. I have since traveled to Europe with my choir; cross-country with Eric; to LA to perform at @kcactf8. I’m really stoked to have gotten this far in my journey, and curious to see where it leads me.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣
      💎CF takes its toll, but I have learned that CF can be embraced in many ways. In addition to my school-work and adventures, I’ve also taken singing lessons with @breathe_bravely and joined a virtual choir with others who have CF. I’ve been featured on @cfnewstoday, and on @thecut for an interview about @fivefeetapartfilm. I will work on the 1st musical about CF, @fallriskmusical! I’m also working with @vertexpharmaceuticals as a patient advocate. I’m grateful that despite sickness, there is an inspiring and diverse community.⁣⁣

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