Playing Tennis With A Lung Condition

Playing Tennis With A Lung Condition

When I was 3 days old I was diagnosed with a lung condition called Cystic Fibrosis.  Not many people have heard of this but in short it affects your lungs and your digestive system making it harder to get oxygen to your muscles and digest food.  In the 1980s people with Cystic Fibrosis would only live to their early teen years.  Luckily today they have discovered many more treatment methods to help people with CF live into their 40s or beyond.  In order to try and keep me healthy my parents wanted me to play a sport and after trying 8 others I finally stumbled upon tennis.  I started in a camp at age 7 and since then I could not imagine myself doing anything else.  Being physically active was a big component to maintaining my health and being able to play the sport I loved made me forget about everything else.  However, every year I would have to be hospitalized for weeks at a time in order to do IV treatments to give myself a “boost”.  Being out at those times made me appreciate tennis so much more when I got to come back and play again.  

Playing tennis in high school was also one of the best experiences I've had in my life.  Being on a team that was so close and supportive of one another made me forget about all of my struggles.  I met so many amazing people through tennis that have always looked after me and cared for me, my main supporters being my parents and grandparents.   After playing tennis for 11 years I'm still not tired of it and have even been lucky enough to get to continue my tennis career in college at Western Carolina University.  Having a lung condition always made me worried that I would never get to play after high school since no college would want to take a chance on someone like me.  Luckily I found a place where I'm supported and get to play with an amazing group of girls and be coached by fantastic coaches.  Being able to play Division 1 tennis in college is every athlete's dream and it’s going to be amazing to see where the next 4 years takes me in my game of tennis.  Don't let anything stop you from accomplishing what you want because in the end it's all worth it.

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