Living with a chronic illness is never easy, especially Cystic Fibrosis. I was born in Denver, Colorado and diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at birth. Colorado was the first state in the nation to include Cystic Fibrosis in newborn screening. From a young age, Cystic Fibrosis affected my digestive system and my lungs, however as I became older, CF began to affect me in other areas.
In 2011, I was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis Related Diabetes. This was a shock for me at first because I never thought I would have to experience taking insulin. Over time, I began to get used to my new routine with taking insulin.
In 2015, I was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis Liver Disease. I never saw this coming. At this time of the year, I was the healthiest I had ever been and before I knew it I was being rushed to the hospital. They discovered I had CF Liver Disease because I was bleeding internally in my esophagus. The blood could not flow through my liver and backed up to my esophagus. They had to perform a TIPS Procedure, seal up the bleeding vessels, and put me on the liver transplant list.
I was in the hospital for a month and a long and slow recovery. I have learned from CF that things can be thrown your way and that sometimes there is no way to be prepared. Being only 19, I have experienced more than I thought I would experience. Then again, it is different for every individual with CF. I decided that because of what I have gone through, that I want to be able to share my story, advice, and show that it is possible to live with a genetic illness and still have a positive perspective.
With this in mind, I created a YouTube channel called Ashley’s Roses as a place for others to learn about to CF, feel that they are not alone, receive advice, and laugh a little. One thing I emphasize all of the time is, yes, Cystic Fibrosis is hard! Sometimes we think there will never be a cure or sometimes we feel like everything is always being tossed at you, but we are warriors, we are Cystic Fibrosis Warriors. It may feel like we are always in war, but we never go down without a fight. Sometimes it is hard to see it in the moment, but there is always a positive, you just have to look for it. Remember, CF does not define who you are. You are a strong and amazing individual.
“It may feel like we are always in war, but we never go down without a fight. Sometimes it is hard to see it in the moment, but there is always a positive, you just have to look for it.” – Ashley’s Wilson