…she’s my hero

You may remember a couple months ago I had posted photos from a session I had with Sophia. Sophia is an amazing young woman, her fire and passion is contagious. What is more amazing about Sophia is her story and her choice to every day be strong and live life so completely despite her struggles. I asked Sophia to share her story with me so that I could also share her story with others. Sophia even within her own struggles is so giving to others, it really astonishes me. Sophia is my hero and when you read her story, you will know why!!

Some people are linked to Cystic Fibrosis by way of family, a child, friend, or like me, be fighting the disease yourself. When I was six years old my life changed forever, I was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. Of course at six I didn’t know much about what was going on or why I had to do hours of treatments everyday, I simply knew I wasn’t like my brothers and sisters. As I got older I learned more and more about why I was so different. My childhood years living with Cystic Fibrosis I was very fortunate I wasn’t sick a lot. It wasn’t until my junior year in high school I was hospitalized for my first time. It was the best and worst part of my life.

I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason because if that didn’t happen I would not be where or who I am today. From those days forward I came out about my disease and didn’t want to hide it or keep it a secret any longer. Since that experience, I have become who I really want to be. Someone who can help families, parents, little kids and so many more with struggles that they face with CF. I have always asked God why me it took me a very long time to finally see the answer to that. It’s because I was put on this earth to help others, inspire people, to give hope and to bring awareness to such a monster of a disease. I have realized that God has chosen this path for me so I can make a difference.

Over the past two years, I have been tested emotionally, physically, and spiritually. My health took a turn for the worst and CF was in full force. Everything happened at once and it hit me like a brick wall. I was in and out of the hospital every few months. I was in the process of getting listed for transplant and getting everything I needed done for that. I prayed I told God I’m not ready to get a transplant I’m 23 years old and want to keep these lungs as long as I can. At this point I felt as if I was drowning from the inside out. I felt so very helpless but at the same time there was a fire that was lit underneath me. I promised myself “let’s try one more thing to see if it will help make a difference with my health.”

This past May I decided to really hit the gym but not just doing cardio for my lungs but lifting weights. The combination of the two has helped me gain weight and raise my lung function to numbers I hadn’t seen in years. At the same time I changed my diet and started eating very clean. I have been eating this way for the past seven months and I can honestly say it has saved my life. I have literally added years onto my life by living the lifestyle I do now. I was willing and am willing to do whatever it takes to be here longer.

My three biggest dreams are to add time onto my life to get married and have a family of my own. I have never felt more alive and healthy than I do right now in my life. My lung functions keep going up and so does my weight, which then leads to so many more amazing and wonderful positive things happening to my health and life. I will forever live like this and help spread the word on how important health and nutrition is. I am so grateful to have the family and friends that I do to push me, support me, love me, and always showing me that it’s way better to be here on this earth than not to be. Everyone has their struggles it’s your attitude and how you deal with them that makes you who you are.

-Sophia

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I would also like to invite you to check out Sophia on our local WOOD TV Eight West : http://woodtv.com/2015/01/27/serving-up-delicious-sips-for-a-cause/ and if you’re looking for something to do this Friday night (January 30th) You should definitely pop into SIPS IN THE CITY @ the gallery at Bar Davani!!

L~ F~: