New CF Profile: “Be Outspoken, Knowledgeable and Involved”


Marsha Sible, 46, works hard to stay healthy and be her own advocate when it comes to medical care. Marsha and her husband have two sons, and she is writing a book about their experience with international adoption.

Marsha’s Childhood. “When I was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at one year old, the doctors told my parents that I would live to be 14. In spite of this prognosis, my parents always made me feel as normal as possible. I grew up in Pittsburgh, leading a typical life. I had a small group of very close friends and was even voted to Prom Court my senior year! I loved art classes and writing and swam on the swim team and ran track for a year.”

Marsha on Staying Healthy. “As I got older, I realized how important medical compliance and exercise are to staying healthy. Today, I practice Tai Chi, stretching and resistance workouts, and I walk my two dogs daily. Even though climate has a significant impact on my health, I try to exercise no matter what that weather is like.”

Marsha on Speaking Up. “My most difficult day with cystic fibrosis came when I was admitted into the hospital with a partially collapsed lung. I had been there for a few days, constantly listening to the doctors going back and forth with treatment ideas, but never having them speak with me. Eventually, I became more outspoken about my treatments, researched other hospitals, and made my own appointments. One thing that I have learned from my CF is to be outspoken, knowledgeable and involved in my own treatments.”

Marsha on Family and Adoption. “I am now 46 years old and married to the love of my life, with whom I have two adopted sons. Because of the difficulties we went through with the domestic adoption process, we decided to proceed with an international adoption. We traveled to Siberia twice, where we adopted Yuri and Alec, brothers who are 15 months apart. I am now writing a book about our adoption experience and hope that it will help other people with the process.”

Marsha’s Advice. “I just want to tell all people affected by cystic fibrosis to always hope for the best, expect the worst, and know that things will fall in between. Never live in denial of the disease – accept it, and be aware and reasonable – and always think to yourself that you can’t quit livin’.”

A Fun Fact About Marsha. Her favorite sport is Pittsburgh Steelers football.

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