Last week the movie 65 Red Roses premiered on OWN. I had never heard of it, but my brother-in-law posted about it on Facebook, so I decided to watch it. The movie is a documentary about Eva, a twenty-something living with Cystic Fibrosis. She started a blog (you can read it here) to share her story and connect with other CF patients.
Over the course of the movie, we see how Eva suffers (the coughing is the worst; it sounds so painful), we watch how isolated she is (CF patients run the risk of spreading infection to each other so personal contact is discouraged), and we see her wait months and months for new lungs.
My brother-in-law, who was also born with CF, had a lung transplant last May. It was jarring to see Eva experience some of the things I know that Ben went through, to see her family feel some of the same emotions that we felt. (At one point, her dad breaks down crying, “Can’t she just catch a break?”) I also wondered if some of what I saw Eva suffered through were things that Ben experienced unseen to the rest of us.
The facts on CF are scary:
- 40% of people living with CF in the US are 18 or older (a huge improvement over previous decades when CF patients didn’t live as long).
- 30,000 people in the US have been diagnosed with CF.
- About 1 in 20 Americans (approximately 12 million) carry the CF gene.
- There is no cure. (Even those who are fortunate enough to get a lung transplant are not cured.)
In two weeks I’m going to be walking with Ben at the Great Strides 5k (a huge fundraiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation). So far, I have raised $354 dollars. My goal is $500, so I’m getting close! 90 cents of every dollar goes to research, care, and education, and every little bit helps. If you have a little bit of moolah to spare, please consider donating it. (You can find my fundraising page here.) And if you haven’t seen the movie 65 Red Roses, it’s worth a watch!*