As Jerry and Em’s ride comes to an end, it’s important for us to reflect on what an achievement the second annual Bike to Breathe really is.

Some label cystic fibrosis as terminal, others call it a childhood disease. Jerry and Em are the ultimate cases proving these titles wrong. While they must feel a sense of personal achievement from the 500-mile bike ride, there is a larger feeling of pride for the CF community as a whole. People with CF are living longer and healthier lives than ever before. All across the world, we have marathoners, college graduates, PHD candidates, NCAA athletes, professional athletes and those who are starting families – all of whom can say they too have cystic fibrosis. The advance that has been made in cystic fibrosis research over the past 20 years is no small thing. Patients are afforded the opportunity to utilize more effective and comprehensive treatments, while given the chance to excel in various aspects of life.

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Day 7 - Beautiful morning air at Prospect Beach in CT before we head to NYC

Beautiful morning air at Prospect Beach in CT before we head to NYC (photo provided by Jerry Cahill)

While Jerry and Em are just a small peak into the lives of the thousands of cystic fibrosis sufferers, they represent everything that people with CF are capable of. They are showing the parents of a diagnosed newborn that life with CF may have its challenges, but it also holds endless opportunities.

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I have had the opportunity to interact with hundreds of people with CF over the years, and I can confidently say that every single person I have talked to has one thing in common – resiliency. Cystic fibrosis brings with it an unyielding sense of resiliency that is not often found elsewhere.

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I touched on it a bit in my last guest blog post, when I said that people with cystic fibrosis are taught from day one that our health is always our number one priority, and it will be until the day we no longer have to live with CF – the day a cure is found. Beyond that, though, we are also taught that there is a fine line between truly living and just being alive. The hours of treatments each day, the hours of health related stress are only worth it in the end if we allow ourselves to be happy. Experiences that we truly live through are what define our personalities. Jerry and Em are creating a life long memory for themselves with the Bike to Breathe. They are also showing us what really living life looks like. They want people with CF to take command of their disease and truly live, otherwise, why fight it?

Day 7 - Best Team ever! NYC here we come!

Day 7 – Best Team ever! NYC here we come! (photo provided by Jerry Cahill)