My name is Mark Tremblay and am a 50-year-old CF patient diagnosed in 1970. I am psyched to be a member of the USACFA board which will give me a chance to share my experience, work with other dedicated CF professionals, and learn from the experiences of our broader CF community. I look forward to raising awareness and providing encouragement to other CF patients, families, loved ones, and care providers particularly in the areas of psychological, emotional and social well-being.
In addition to having CF I’m 32 years sober. As an adolescent I drank heavily and used drugs to deal with the emotional and psychological burden of CF until the age of 18. In a few short years I went from being a patient in recovery to being an administrator for a drug and alcohol treatment center in Syracuse New York. Sobriety gave me the strength to face my disease head on. During that time, I was very active in the CF community participating in CF Foundation events, fund raising, public speaking, writing articles for the International Adult Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Newsletter as well as making radio and television appearances. As an undergraduate and graduate psychology student at Le Moyne College and Marywood University I researched psychological and emotional well-being in CF patients. In fact, my master’s thesis became a multi-year study which was published and became an abstract at American Thoracic Society Conference in 1999.
However, after having a major exacerbation in my late 20s I left all that behind to study health policy by pursuing an MPA at Syracuse University Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs which led to a 20-year career with the New York State Division of Budget and Department of Health. Currently, I’m working full-time, living with my wife MaryGrace of six years and my step son Sean in Albany, New York. My wife and I love road cycling, motorcycling, traveling, spending time with our families and volunteering at church including helping to lead the Celebrate Recovery ministry.