Appreciating My Pooch

Here is a guest post from one of our Directors, Colleen.

Today is my dog Penny’s birthday! She turned five years old today. Penny is a miniature schnauzer, and she brings me a lot of joy. She is always happy to see me when I get home, and she jumps like a rabbit when I’m getting her dinner for her, because she is just SO excited she can barely contain Continue reading Appreciating My Pooch

U.S.A.C.F.A. to Observe Rare Disease Day

(United States) U.S.A.C.F.A. will join the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) and others around the world in observing Rare Disease Day on February 29.  The purpose is to focus attention on the needs of patients and families affected by rare diseases.

“This is a global observance,” said Peter L. Saltonstall, president and CEO of NORD.  “Individuals and organizations around the world will all be sharing stories of how rare diseases affect their lives.” Continue reading U.S.A.C.F.A. to Observe Rare Disease Day

Losing a good friend to the good fight.

Usually, when a friend of mine dies from CF and its complications, I am sad but am not shocked. Nor does it take me long to accept this. Same goes for losing a friend to complications post-lung transplant. But there are exceptions. And they are never easy. Continue reading Losing a good friend to the good fight.

An Open Invitation For Submissions Of Original Written Works

A book of original poems, quotes, anecdotes and stories penned by those living with Cystic Fibrosis, those who have succumbed to the disease, and those who share and have shared their lives with those who have Cystic Fibrosis. We are accepting original written work to be included in this book. Continue reading An Open Invitation For Submissions Of Original Written Works

Using Reiki with CF and Lung Transplant

I have always complemented my doctors’ prescribed therapies with alternative or complementary care therapies like acupuncture, cranio-sacral therapy, and now reiki. I had received reiki from Michael, at my acupuncturist’s office. Continue reading Using Reiki with CF and Lung Transplant

BEF Book Sales to Benefit Scholarships and Research for CF

Limited Edition of YOU CANNOT FAIL Book Sold Out;
Online Sales of Standard Book to Begin December 1

A smaller hard cover version of the sold-out limited edition YOU CANNOT FAIL: You Are the Hero of Your Own Story book will be available beginning December 1, the Boomer Esiason Foundation has announced. Continue reading BEF Book Sales to Benefit Scholarships and Research for CF

Boomer Esiason Academic Scholarship

December 15 Deadline Approaching for BEF Academic Scholarship
The Boomer Esiason Foundation encourages college students with cystic fibrosis to get started on their application for the BEF General Academic Scholarship. The next application deadline for this program is December 15, 2011.

The Boomer Esiason Foundation’s General Academic Scholarships assist CF patients pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees. Grants are awarded quarterly on the basis of demonstrated need and academic accomplishment. They are made directly to the academic institution to assist in covering the cost of tuition and fees. This scholarship is for one year only.
For more information and application materials, please visit the BEF General Academic Scholarship page on our website.

The Boomer Esiason Foundation awards more than $250,000 in scholarships each year to outstanding students with CF who strive both for therapy compliance and for academic success.
For more information about our scholarship program, including applications and 2012 deadlines, please visit the scholarships page on the BEF website.

Cold season is here.

I have been home for 4 days with a nasty head cold. Aside from feeling sorry for myself, here is what I have been up to make sure I get over this quickly and without lung involvement—hopefully.

Rest: getting as much sleep at night as possible. Then a nap in the afternoon is helpful, for me. And trying not to get stressed out that I am sick and sitting home on my butt watching TV all day!

Fluids: constantly drinking trying to flush my system out and keeping my nasal passages moist, I think. I have been drinking tea, mostly non-caffeinated rooisbus tea, good for the stomach. Specifically it is called African Rooibus Red tea. Twinnings brand is my favorite with some sweetener. It is also sold loose and many companies sell it. I also brew a ginger tea that I find helpful when I get a cold. I find if taken just when I feel like I might be getting sick, it chases it out of me. Who knows if this is true, but I like the taste and I make it strong. The recipe is below, basically water and ginger root. I drink about 3-4 cups of this a day with honey or splenda and at times lemon. I also made home-made chicken soup but when too ill, canned or store made is just as good. I eat comfort foods but steer clear of dairy during a cold. I don’t want to added mucus it produces in me. When I am not drinking tea, I drink plenty of water. Juice is good by personally, it brings my glucose levels too high. So, I stick with H2O.

Steaming and nasal lavage: I steam for about 10-20 minutes 3-4 times a day with my personal Vicks steamer. This helps loosen mucus, reduce inflammation and helps clear the gunk when I do a nasal lavage. I rinse my nose with luke-warm saline after the steamings 3-4 times a day. When healthy, only twice a day for maintenance. The steamer can be bought at most pharmacies, made by the same company that makes Vicks Vapor Rub.

Ginger tea: You will need an 8-10 quart pot and about 1 lb or more of ginger root. Most supermarkets sell this. To start, fill pot w/cold water, put on medium-high heat. Wash ginger thoroughly. Start to cut it up by cutting big pieces in half and then in half again. The pieces do not need to be small, you just want to open up the root to expose the interior. Plop ginger in pot carefully. Boil this for about 1 1/2-2 hours (or more). I cook my tea until the color of the water is caramel-colored. I do like it to be spicy. You may cook it 2 hours and then have to water it down to your own taste. You can add honey, splenda, agave or no sweetener. Lemon is also nice at times. Important: drain mixture with a sieve. Sip and enjoy hot or warm.

What do you do for a cold? Care to share?

Two Scholarship Winners CFCareForward Program

ABBOTT PARK, Ill., Oct. 25, 2011 – Abbott today awarded $19,000 scholarships to two exceptional students – one undergraduate and one graduate – living with cystic fibrosis (CF).  Lauren Meiss, winner of the Thriving Undergraduate Student Scholarship, and Emily Kramer-Golinkoff, winner of the Thriving Graduate Student Scholarship, were among 40 finalists living with CF who were eligible to receive the two scholarships through the CFCareForward program this year.  Lauren and Emily were chosen based on their outstanding academic achievements, community service, and artistic talent, as well as the number of votes they received during a public voting period.

“Abbott is proud to support Lauren and Emily as they pursue their goals for higher education,” said Jim Hynd, divisional vice president, Metabolics, GI Care and Dyslipidemia, Abbott.  “Along with all of this year’s CFCareForward Scholarship recipients, these students are an inspiration to others living with CF, and to anyone facing a health challenge.”

Earlier this year, 40 students with CF were selected from hundreds of applicants to receive $2,500 scholarships for use during the 2011-2012 academic year.  Essays, poetry, artwork and personal and academic achievements were among the elements that comprised each of the students’ profiles, which were featured on the CFCareForward Scholarship website.  Members of the public used the profiles to decide which student would earn their vote to win one of two Thriving Student Scholarships.

“As a student living with CF, it’s very important to me to express my talents, enjoy life, and show others what’s possible,” said Phoenix, AZ native and Thriving Undergraduate Student Scholarship recipient, Lauren Meiss.  “The financial support from the CFCareForward Scholarship program will be a huge weight lifted from my shoulders and will help me enjoy my college years as well as allow me to look forward to graduate school.”

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States.  More young adults with CF are living longer, healthier lives than ever before, and increasingly are pursuing higher education.  Today, more than 45 percent of people living with CF are aged 18 or older.

In past years, the Thriving Student Scholarship was awarded to only one of the 40 Scholarship recipients.  However, recognizing the growing number of students living with CF who are pursuing post-graduate studies, such as medical school, law school and overall graduate-level studies, Abbott enhanced the CFCareForward Scholarship program this year by adding a second scholarship, specifically for graduate students.

“Pursing a graduate degree in bioethics has given me even more motivation to stay as healthy as possible so I can achieve my educational and career goals,” said Thriving Graduate Student Scholarship recipient, Emily Kramer-Golinkoff, of Philadelphia, PA.  “I hope my story will encourage other people with CF to always reach for their dreams, including graduate-level education, and never let CF stand in the way.”

In addition to submitting their academic and community service achievements, applicants submitted an essay and creative artwork answering the question, “What does pursuing further education mean to you?”  Submissions from all 40 Scholarship recipients, including Lauren Meiss and Emily Kramer-Golinkoff can be viewed online at

About CFCareForward Scholarship
Recognizing the financial burdens that exist for many CF families, the CFCareForward Scholarship was developed to honor young adults with CF as they pursue goals of post-high school education.  Over the past 19 years, Abbott has awarded scholarships totaling more than $2.2 million to exceptional students with CF.

About CFCareForward
Abbott is honored to continue the nearly 25-year commitment of helping people with
CF manage their health.  The CFCareForward program provides comprehensive nutritional, educational and financial support for patients living with CF and their families.  To learn more about CFCareForward, please call 1-855-CARE4WD      (227-3493).

About Abbott
Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics.  The company employs nearly 90,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries.

Abbott’s news releases and other information are available on the company’s website at