Thursday, January 24, 2013


Let me introduce you to my other "love of my life". This is David William Rider, my son, my goofball…my cello playing, ornery guy that loves to push his mama's buttons sometimes. 

I blog a lot about Andrea…after all, this is a blog about our lives with cystic fibrosis; and this handsome young man plays a big role in our CF world, so I wanted to share a little something about him as well. 

David loves, adores, LOVES his sister. Sure they have their brotherly/sisterly quarrels, but for the most part they get a long great and have no trouble letting each other know how much they love one another. 

David has been pretty oblivious to CF until just recently. About 4 years ago he showed a sign of understanding the impact CF has had on our family. We were watching something on TV and during a commercial break; an ad came on promoting the CF Wine Opener. I got so excited, I screeched and said out loud…"look, look, an ad promoting our CF event." David did not show any excitement. Instead he started pouting. When I asked him what was wrong he said, "You care more about finding a cure for CF, than finding a cure for the deaf." My heart sank!

You see, David was born with moderate to severe hearing loss and we knew of that before we knew Andrea had CF. For 6 months I was enthralled into the world of the deaf and hard of hearing. Getting him fitted for hearing aids at just 3 months old. Working with speech therapists and sign interpreters. Learning American Sign Language and more. I was heart broken that my baby boy could possibly go completely deaf and hated the thought of how his life would be more difficult than most because of it. However, six months later we get the dreaded news of Andrea having CF and the first words out of my mouth were: "Why couldn't it just be her hearing?" My perspective changed immediately and I threw myself at doing what I could to help find a cure for CF. David was right, I cared more about curing CF than hearing loss. 

Now that David is older, he understands better why I dedicate more time to finding a CF cure. He completely understands the severity between the two: CF is life threatening and hearing loss is not. So now David asks what he can do to help come Great Strides time, or what he can do when I hold fundraisers. What he's also shown is some fear as well. 

David's mind wanders with thoughts of possibly losing his sister to CF. He's had some meltdowns about it actually. We have cried together because of it, but I make sure to talk to him about how much of an enemy fear can be. It's been a learning experience for him and for me. Together we're learning how to cope with CF being in our lives. 

Something else that has really been accentuated with David is his compassion. Both Andrea and David are very compassionate kiddos, but that feeling has intensified with David's understanding of CF. It's amazing how something as awful as CF is, can bring about some good things too, like David's compassion. I just know that those feelings well make him grow up to be a more understanding, caring and loving individual. And there is nothing wrong with that.

I love you David William Rider!

P.S. We are very much involved in David's hearing-loss world. Just thought I'd point that out. :)

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