I was born in 1978 in Michigan. I am the youngest of six girls and come from a wonderful, loving family! I attended college where I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in learning disabilities and later finished my Master of Arts degree in curriculum and instruction. I taught special education in Michigan for seven years before retiring (due to the strain on my body). I started doing private academic tutoring in 2007. After my son was born, I continued tutoring but reduced my hours to approximately ten per week.
I met my husband, Jaime, when I was in seventh grade and we began dating toward the end of high school. We nurtured a long distance relationship during our college years, and then got married in 2001. God blessed us with our son, Lucas, in 2011.
I was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis shortly after birth. My oldest sister Sheri was diagnosed with this disease at age two. Sheri struggled with lung issues most of her life, the biggest challenges beginning for her around age 10. She endured many hospitalizations and many complications but led a life marked by faith, strength, resilience, beauty, and creativity in spite of her challenges. She was and is a huge inspiration to me and I try to emulate her strength and courage as I fight my own fight with this disease. Sheri died in 2004 about a month before her 36th birthday.
The only issues I had until my teen years were digestive in nature (uncomfortable at times but not serious). In high school I started having asthma symptoms which gave me some lung issues to deal with, but they were still quite mild. It wasn’t until my mid twenties that I felt much struggle at all.
In the fall of 2006 I came down with a serious case of pneumonia combined with viral influenza that completely devastated my body. I was in my seventh year of teaching at the time and I missed four months of work recovering. I went from having only mild lung issues to being unable to comfortably walk the five paces from my bed to the bathroom due to such severe lung inflammation. I had never known a fear like that before, of being unable to draw enough oxygen into my lungs to walk such a short distance. I did eventually recover more lung function than I expected, but since I have struggled with this disease, and my CF has become moderate rather than mild. I feel my limitations now where in the past they were easy to ignore.
I see everything in my life through the lens of my Christian faith. Faith in God and in His Son Jesus is what makes me who I am. I am a daughter, a wife, a mother, a teacher, a friend, (even a CFer as some people say), but ultimately I am God’s child. He gives me strength for today and BRIGHT HOPE for tomorrow!