The other week I wrote a post about all the funny things I’ve heard from student’s during my time teaching. Teaching has definitely brought some smiles to my life.
What I have never talked about here are some of the more challenging times I’ve had as a teacher. But just because they were challenging does not make them any less rewarding.
I want to share that I have entered into a partnership with Walgreens Cystic Fibrosis CF Champions and this post is sponsored by Walgreens Cystic Fibrosis Services as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and I will receive compensation as part of a Thank you for my post. This month (and the month of May) are Cystic Fibrosis awareness month and I am hoping to help Walgreens raise awareness for a disease that effects so many young people.
Many, Many years ago (O gosh it almost seems like a lifetime ago), I was a teacher of students who had Cystic Fibrosis. Many people have heard of CF but don’t really know what it is. CF is a life altering genetic disease which effects the respiratory and digestive systems. It affects about 30,000 people in the United States alone. I learned about the disease early on because my best friend in high school had an older brother who had CF and when we were in college he passed away at the young age of 27. He was considered to have had a long life compared to others living with CF.
The CF students I taught were my students all through their middle school careers. Unfortunately they each got to the point where their illness was so severe that they could no longer attend school. Due to their increased risk of infection and cross-contamination they needed to be isolated from other students at school. So this meant that I had to bring school to them. Being out of school and away from their peers affected each one differently. One patient in particular had several siblings to keep her company while she was home yet another student had no siblings and you could tell that depression may be starting to kick in. Because I taught them at their home, I got to see first hand as they were hooked up to machines and as they wore their shaker vest, and took their medication. I was invested emotionally with them and their families as they waited for lung transplants to happen and eventually the surgery. Did you know that you have to fill out an application for a lung? My students had to go through an interview process to see if they were suitable candidates and would take care of the new organ and if they would adhere to all the necessary medication guidelines to keep themselves healthy.
At the time, there were a few teachers in my district who thought some of the CF kids were well enough to attend school ( and perhaps one in particular may have been), but seeing them at home put into perspective what their everyday lives were like and what they had to go through as part of their daily treatment regiment.
Eventually I moved on to another school district and no longer had contact with the CF students. But eventually one by one their parents had contacted me to let me know of their child’s passing. I was heart broken to say the least.
Because there are a variety of people like medical professionals, parent’s (and families), and teacher’s whose lives have been effected by caring for someone one with cystic fibrosis, Walgreen has asked us to help get the word out about their CF services. Unfortunately my experiences working with students with CF did not end happy, but know that each person living with CF is different and symptoms and disease severity can vary from person to person. Through Walgreens I have been able to read about how others are successfully living with CF. Please take a moment to check out the CF Champions:Navigating the Journey Together . I would encourage you to read Kristen's story. She wasn't diagnosed with CF until the age of 31, (which is late for most CF patients) and then found out the her children age 3 and 7 also had the disease.
In addition to Kristen's story, Walgreens is happy to share the stories of many other CF patients who they gladly call their CF Champions! Thank you for reading. -M