Diagnosis: Cystic fibrosis
Hometown: Clackamas, OR
Favorite Athlete: Peyton Manning
Nike Shoe: Nike Air Max Thea ($95.00)
Nike Apparel: Addie Tech Fleece Hoody ($90.00), Nike Addie RPM Backpack ($110.00)
Nike Footwear Designer: Kyle Schenone
Nike Footwear Developer: Amy Yang
Nike Apparel Designer: Jennifer Crepaz
Nike Apparel Developer: Gina Reynales
As first-time parents, Addie's mother and father weren't sure what was normal, but they instinctively knew something was not right with their newborn. She could not stop coughing. Months went by with no improvement and no answers. Finally, at one year old, Addie was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a serious lung disease with no cure. But with knowledge came hope and a treatment plan that promised to extend her life. Management of the disease requires intensive daily medical regimes and processes that to many might seem overwhelming. But Addie and her parents believe perspective is everything, and life is what you make it.
Addie wakes at 6:30 a.m. to take enzymes, antibiotics, steroids, vitamins, and reflux medicine. After breakfast, comes a one-hour nebulizer treatment to clear her lungs. At school she takes more pills, and blows into a tube that forces her to cough. Once back home, she does another round with the nebulizer. Then more pills at dinner. And another nebulizer before bed. She periodically sleeps with a feeding tube to maintain proper nutrition. Despite all this, her illness does not define her.
She is an excellent student and a creative soul. She is an accomplished violinist in a performing youth orchestra. She taught herself to play piano. She draws and writes poetry. She loves to ride her long board down to the local hangout with her friends. She dreams of going to Italy someday. At 15, she is on the cusp of becoming a young adult and proud of her recently acquired driver's permit. She is beginning to think about things like college and life beyond her parents' house. In other words, aside from being a patient, she is a thriving, curious, creative "girl-soon-to-be-young woman."
Doernbecher has treated her as an infant, a toddler, a new student, and a pre-teen. Now as a teen, her doctors and other caregivers are slowly preparing her for life as an adult CF patient. Once she turns 21, she will transition out of Doernbecher's care to adult care. Doernbecher encourages patients and families to make every moment count and live life to its fullest. Kids need to be kids. Addie emits a radiant energy, and whenever she feels blue, her creativity buoys her spirit and provides an outlet for her emotions. She fills her days with "YES" and may already be wiser than most of us. When she enters adult health care, she will be ready. She is already living an amazing life.