Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic Fibrosis is an inherited disease that causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in the lungs and digestive tract. It is one of the most common chronic lung diseases in children and young adults

I was working with the Starlight Foundation in the mid 80’s and spent a lot of time at all the hospitals looking for kids who I could help with a wish. I was at Children’s Hospital in Oakland when I discover a six-year-old boy, Roy, who had been in the hospital at least once a month from the time he had turned three with Cystic Fibrosis.

The fluid would gather in his lungs and they had to have 24-hour vigil’s to keep him moving, turn him over and pat his back to break up the congestion in his lungs.

About the third time I visited with Roy and his mother, we finally got around to what he wanted as a special gift. Without missing a beat when I asked him he shouted out “A Big Wheel!”

I was having major challenges raising funds to pay for the wishes, but this was one I could manage on my own.

Roy was sent home to Richmond and I showed up to give him is Big Wheel. He was so gleefully happy, like only a six year old can portray. He rode it up and down the sidewalk as fast as his little legs could pump.

I would check in with his mother every few days and was surprised after a month went by and he hadn’t been re-admitted to the hospital. Then it was two, three, four, five and after six months, the doctor insisted Roy come in for a check up. “This is highly irregular.” the doctor proclaimed.

After the hospital visit, Roy’s mom called me in tears, “the Cystic Fibrosis is gone.”

Isn’t it amazing, the one thing that would eliminate Roy’s symptoms was the one thing he asked for.

Are children really that clever?