Meet Bristol! She LOVES being the center of attention, and one can always find her pulling pranks on people, playing with Barbies, or enjoying the scenery on long hikes. She has such a positive attitude towards her Cystic Fibrosis treatments and is very aware about the importance of staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic...how WONDERFUL is it that she can understand all of this at just 4 years old?! Read on to learn more about her brave spirit and mature mindset :)
1. To start off, can you tell me a little bit about Bristol?
Bristol is currently 4 years old. She was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis - a genetic condition that causes mucus and secretions to be thicker than normal - a week after birth following a bowel obstruction called meconium ileus that required surgery at 3 days old. Despite this, Bristol has the sweetest heart. She is very understanding about her treatments and approaches everything with such a positive mindset!
2. What would surprise people the most about Bristol?
Bristol does not know she has Cystic Fibrosis, so everything she does in a typical day is “normal” for her. This includes her nebulizer breathing treatments, using her vest for airway clearance, and taking enzymes before every meal along with lots of other medications and nutritional supplements. Even thought she is just 4, she knows all the tasks that are required of her day to keep her healthy and strong. And as far as she is concerned, everyone goes to the doctor for check ups.
3. What does Bristol love to do? What is her personality like?
Bristol is full of energy! One can always find her singing and dancing, playing with Barbies, dressing up, going on hikes, doing arts & crafts, cooking, and pulling pranks on people. She loves being the center of attention, making people laugh, and has the kindest heart...and she LOVES animals, especially dogs! The only thing she isn’t a fan of is going to bed haha!
4. What are some of Bristol's best strengths?
Her positive attitude and her compliance to her treatments and medications is a huge strength. She’s also incredibly brave and smart! Even with COVID, she’s so aware of what’s going on. She knows there is a yucky germ going around that’s making people very sick and that it's important to stay at home as much as she can, wear a mask when she goes somewhere, and always wash her hands. How amazing is it that at just 4 years old she can grasp all of that?!
5. What is a recent accomplishment/milestone of Bristol?
She recently started home school preschool and is totally excelling!
6. What are some of your favorite resources as a parent?
CFF.org is an amazing resource which advocates and provides resources for people with Cystic Fibrosis. There is also an amazing Cystic Fibrosis community I’ve met through Instagram who I can learn from, speak to, and lean on.
7. What has your daughter taught you?
In life, unexpected and less than desirable situations will happen; however, that doesn’t make life any less amazing and there is beauty in every situation.
8. If you could tell the world one thing about Bristol, what would it be?
She is worthy. She is worthy of an exceptional life. COVID has especially opened my eyes to how people treat others, particularly people with disabilities or medical complexities. Bristol deserves to be able to enjoy life and not have to risk her health just to do anything. She shouldn’t have to “stay at home” because people refuse to prioritize the health of others.