After several calls, Richard came into the room and told his Mom, "I know what you are working for." Mary was dumbstruck because Richard did not know what she was doing, nor did he know that he had cystic fibrosis. With some trepidation, Mary asked, "What am I working for, Richard?" He answered, "You are working for 65 Roses." Mary was speechless. He could not see the tears running down Mary's cheeks as she stammered, "Yes Richard, I'm working for 65 Roses."
Most people who are affected by cystic fibrosis because they have a child with CF or they themselves have CF, know who Ronnie Sharpe is. He's a fellow 'fibro' in the CF community who blogs about a life with CF, blogs about himself and his wife Mandi, and loves to blog about his daughter McKenna. Many of us follow him via facebook, his blog–Run Sickboy Run–and/or through CysticLife.
Ronnie will share and post about just anything, especially anything CF related. He'll post about his thoughts that most times the majority of people agree with. Sometimes he posts things that may actually piss people off...but he never posts those types of topics in order to upset anyone. He's just honest about how he feels and thinks about certain things and he's fine if you don't agree with him.
When our CF clinic approached several CF families for input on what kind of speakers we wanted to hear at our next parent CF education day, Ronnie was at the top of the list, among a few others. Our clinic coordinator contacted him and lucky for us he was able to come to the conference. That conference was held yesterday, in Des Moines, Iowa at Methodist Hospital.
Prior to the conference Ronnie contacted me and asked if I would do his introduction. I can't tell you how honored I felt that he would ask me to do that. I immediately started writing down what to say. I contacted his wife Mandi to get a little more insight on the man so many of us have grown to admire and respect. I was able to write my intro and keep it simple and short and according to Andrea, I did a pretty decent job. Whew!
Even though I've been following Ronnie through all the social media capabilities we have available to us, I had no clue what he would talk about. What I did know and was not mistaken, is that what he had to say would be something I and many others would gain much from. He did not disappoint!
When Ronnie says he's blessed to have CF he means it and his talk was all about that. How to not let IT take control of us (parents included!) and that we are the only ones in real control of ourselves. CF is just two letters and nothing more. You may be wondering "what the heck are you getting at", but I'm telling you...when you hear Ronnie explain all of this you will get it. What he said made sense and without giving away how he talked about it, you'll just have to trust me on this one.
Ronnie with my precious 'cyster' - Andrea.
I wrote something down while Ronnie talked, it was "Don't let CF make you feel like you're in a bottomless pit!" It's easy to allow CF to do this, but we owe it to ourselves to keep CF from taking us there. All this is easier said than done, but if we really want to live life to the fullest for ourselves and our children, we must work hard at filling "the pit" to keep us on top of everything. For me, working on this will be a forever job. I know myself all too well and I know there will be days when CF will drag me down, but I can honestly say I have yet to allow it to keep me there. I always find a way to get back up and continue moving forward. Somedays I move real slow, but other days I'm like the road-runner and to that I say...