Sharing My Friend’s Cystic Fibrosis Story As She Prepares to Say Goodbye

Scenarios of Drea
4 min readFeb 27, 2021
My friend Erica and I in happier times, posing for a selfie
My friend Erica (left) and I, in happier times a few years ago

My friend Erica was born with a chronic terminal illness known as cystic fibrosis. Currently, as I’m writing this, she’s been in hospice care for a little over a month. Erica is just 32. Her hospice nurse told her that she is the oldest CF patient she had ever met. Many CF patients do not make it into adulthood, and the ones that do have an average life expectancy of about 44 years.

(Learn more about this chronic terminal lung illness on

I’ve known Erica since I was 10 years old. We bonded over our shared struggle of being born with damaged lungs and our resilience to survive. Our parents had each been told that they shouldn’t expect their babies to make it to the next morning. I was born three months early and spent a year in the hospital, defying many odds before my parents were able to bring me home. I was born with BPD, Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia, and I still have breathing issues to this day. When I met Erica, and she told me about her cystic fibrosis, I didn’t know what it was at first, but I felt happy to know that someone else understood what it was like to be young and have lung issues. We even found out that we had some of the same doctors. We bonded immediately through that innate understanding and we have been very close ever since.

A woman hugging her brown poodle
Erica and her dog Ernie in 2021, battling her illness in hospice care

There are so many things I want to say about Erica, how much I love her, and how frustrated it makes me that she can’t be at my wedding now that I’m engaged. I will save these reflections for another day.

Today, I just want to share Erica’s thoughts directly, with some journal entries from her personal diary that she shared with me and wants me to share with the world before she says her final goodbye. These are some of her rawest, most intimate thoughts, and I’m proud to be able to share them.

Scenarios of Drea

Storyteller, Photographer.