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Cordell’s Family

“I feel I need to take control and responsibility for what I need to do.”

— Cordell

Seventeen-year-old Cordell takes Cystic Fibrosis (CF) in stride.

He runs for his high school team and says, “I can do cross country because I keep myself healthy; I do my breathing treatments twice a day, take enzymes and my medications, and keep up my routine.”

“Like many kids, I used to not want to push myself physically,” Cordell confides. “It wasn’t the wheezing or shortness of breath because of CF; it was my lack of cardio conditioning. I used to avoid physical activities and always dreaded running the mile in PE class. But, I’ve come to appreciate how good of an activity running is to help me stay in shape and to reinforce good lung function.”

“After training and getting to the point where I could easily run distances, I actually started to enjoy running,” he smiles. “Knowing that you started when it was hard to run a mile, and now you are breezing through 3+ miles, it feels good. You feel a real sense of accomplishment, whether you have a lung problem or not.”

Cordell explains his motivation, “CF has not held me back, because I have always taken care of it and I have not had major issues. The only thing that kept me from my physical goals was myself. I decided I didn’t want to be a chubby little kid anymore, and took actions to get where I wanted to go. I started my freshman year with lifting weights and continued working up to certain physical goals from there.”

“CF makes things more complicated in that I have to be disciplined about building my breathing treatments into my schedule. I also have to coordinate my daily medications and take them when I need them.”

He continues. “I feel I need to take control and responsibility for what I need to do – that it’s completely in my control how I’m doing, and how healthy I’m going to be. I guess a lot of things are like that.”

Even though Cordell is strong-willed, things were not always easy. Cordell’s mother, Kim, shares, “We had insurance and money was not an issue at first. But, as more tests and diagnoses were made, the insurance companies began calling Cordell’s diagnosis “pre-existing” and denying our claims. Then, we lost one of our insurances, and began struggling to recoup any of our expenses while dealing with high medication costs and co-pays.”

“DSCC was there for us when we were ineligible for the state-sponsored health insurance. I was distraught and didn’t know where to turn for help,” Kim recalls. “I remember being so relieved to have Deb Richards (our DSCC Care Coordinator for over ten years) help me advocate for my son and his needs. She was my rock, and as Cordell grew and continued to thrive, she became his biggest fan.”

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