"Normalcy" is a bizarre concept. I'll be the first to admit that I hate social constructs and the just going along with the status quo for the sake of it. But feeling normal is a critical part of growing up. Having CF meant that I grew up not feeling normal at all. I got adjusted to delicately explaining CF at a young age. There were definitely weird learning curves and it wasn't always easy. But I am eternally thankful for my teachers along the way for making things easier on me.
When you're growing up, from 1st through 12th grade, you spend about 35 hours a week at school. CF presents a litany of problems that are tough to deal with at school so having understanding teachers that navigated the strange waters of dealing with my health was one of the most valuable parts of my adolescence.
I had so many teachers that worked with my family and I to alleviate whatever burden I would have when I was sick or when I had surgery. I had help from the administration to find ways to assist in the issues that come with being a student and having a chronic disease. In terms of my academic career, I felt like these teachers helped me obtain a level of normalcy I wouldn't have been able to obtain otherwise.
Maybe more importantly, my teachers believed in me. They believed in my passion and my drive and they encouraged me to fulfill my potential. I believe in myself because of my teachers believing in me. I would be mistaken to not give my teachers credit for their support because I can say wholeheartedly that I would've never fallen in love with learning without their drive to be the best teachers in the world. I can say that writing would not be a dream of mine without them instilling a passion in me for learning, self-evaluation, and dreaming big.
Life with CF can be difficult in more ways than I can write. But life with CF provides me with an opportunity to allow people's true colors to flourish. Unfortunately, I've seen people's true colors be full of hate, but that also means that I seen people show me there are genuinely well-meaning souls that are comprised of optimism and love. Some of the most important people I've developed relationships have been my teachers over the years, and their sympathy and empathy for my CF is what drew me so closely to so many of them. I am so thankful for so many teachers over the years for believing in me.