“I was born with CF, I’ve lived with it my whole life, it’s all I’ve ever known, it is my life!”
I am 37 years old and I was diagnosed with CF at the age of seven in 1979. I grew up in South Georgia, where I was one of three boys and the only with CF. This did not hold me back, I was involved in pretty much every sport, such as baseball, basketball and soccer, and I’ve always been a huge football fan! I led a fairly normal life growing up. My brothers took no pity and that was the best thing for me. I also believe I grew up quickly and had to deal with my responsibilities with staying compliant. I was very active growing up and didn’t need a hospital visit until I was 23.
Attending Valdasta State University was very rewarding for me. I earned a bachelors degree in business administration and business management in 1996, and I also met my wife, Christie. I’m now a father to a beautiful soon-to-be three-year-old daughter, Hayden. Being a husband and a father, along with holding a full-time job, can be difficult, but it has truly been a blessing.
About eight months ago, I hit a very dark period of my life, and it wasn’t until I was driving down the road and saw a motorcycle and got an idea in my head that my whole life changed. I had never ridden a bike before, but it was like a sign that this was going to be my mission. I started an organization called CF Riders, and our mission is to ride across the country while spreading a message of inspiration and hope. The message I would like to extend is that you are not bound by CF.
I also live life on a daily basis by a quote that I created. I always say, “Dream big, ride free, breathe easy.” To me, this means I am now following my dream, I am getting on a bike and not holding back and breathing easy while living life with the deadly disease cystic fibrosis. I will be leaving for my journey on April 15, 2011, with my wife and daughter alongside me. I hope to gain many followers along my journey, and together we can all beat CF.
I have found my calling in life, and I can only hope the CF Riders will spread awareness around the country and hopefully one day play a role in CF standing for “cure found.” I hope my story will show others that CF does not hold you back from everything; I see it as a positive in my life. I am 37 years old ,and I am proud to live each day to the fullest with my wife and daughter.
Favorite Holiday: Christmas
Favorite Food: Sushi
Favorite Pastime: Baseball
Favorite Movie: Forrest Gump
One Word That Describes You: Perseverance
Role Models: Ronnie Sharpe and Jerry Cahill
Dream Vacation: Australia
You can find Brian on … Facebook, Twitter, cysticfibrosis.com and CFsocial.net