February 17 2009

Jennifer Davison

“CF is a part of who I am but it does not define me”
I am 40 years old and have Cystic Fibrosis.  I am the youngest of nine children, three of whom had CF. Growing up in a big family, there was no time to feel sorry for one single person, so I was treated like everyone else.  Which in retrospect I believe helped build my strength and character.  I have always been very independent and a hard worker.
After High School, I attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan.  I received a degree in Textiles Development and Marketing and worked for a short time in the Fashion Industry.  I quickly realized my true desire was to help people, and returned to school to become a Registered Nurse.  I was able to maintain a career in Nursing for over 10 years, working in the Pediatric ICU and the Recovery Room, before I had to stop working.  The decision to stop working, although very difficult, was the right choice for me.
Family has always been very important to me.  I met my husband at a very young age and the decision to marry was an easy one.  The decision to start a family was obviously much more difficult.  We decided that if Tim was a carrier, we would not have any children.  But, he is not, so we went for it.  Luckily at the time I was healthy enough to sustain a pregnancy for nine months and she was born without any complications and is now a healthy 11 year old girl!  Having my daughter, Dara, was for me, the best decision  I ever made, she has brought so much joy to our lives!
I recommend to all people with CF to get out there and live your life without putting any restrictions on yourself.  Being active is the key to a good quality of life.  I have always enjoyed skiing, swimming, riding my bike, whatever will take me outdoors and allow me to feel alive!!  Just because you have CF doesn’t mean you have to stop living your life.  I have always felt that I was going to do what everyone else does; I just have to work a little harder at it!!