"I try to reassure everyone who has been affected by this disease that CF isn't the end of the world if you don't want it to be."
The experience of living with cystic fibrosis is markedly different today than it was decades ago. Thanks to the discovery of the CF gene, the availability of effective drug therapies and advances in technology, the 30,000 Americans who deal with the disease day in and day out are living longer and fuller lives. In a word, they are thriving.

Joan Finnegan Brooks

Joan's Story

I am 49 years old, and I grew up in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y. Born with CF in 1960, I was given less than 10 years to live. My mother and father instilled independence and responsibility in me at a young age, and I learned to do all of my therapies and take care of myself by the time I reached high school. I have never viewed CF as a burden; it is something that is built into my every day routine.

Joan on Exercise

Exercise is one of the most important factors in my life and staying healthy with CF. I discovered the wonders of exercise in high school while playing field hockey. As a result of all the running on the field, my lungs would clear and I could breathe easier. Since then, I have run – I’ve completed a marathon and several half-marathons. I also enjoy dancing and cycling.

Joan's Life and Mission

I attended Brown University and graduated with a degree in economics. I live in the Boston area with my husband of 20 years. I work full-time, managing my own consulting practice. I also volunteer for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, as giving back to the community is very important to me. For 49 years, I have successfully managed CF and remained optimistic the entire time. I intend to possess that attitude well into the future.

A Fun Fact About Joan: Her favorite food is mashed potatoes.
Favorite Holiday: Christmas
Favorite Pastime: Sudoku
Favorite Movie: It’s a Wonderful Life
Favorite Color: Green
Dream Vacation: Italy
You can find Joan on … Facebook

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