The CBS Women’s Networking Group kicked off the month of May with a special screening of the CBS Films movie “Five Feet Apart” and fundraiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Greater NYC. Teena Mobley, a member of the CBS Women’s Networking Group shares her journey with battling Cystic Fibrosis.
Cystic Fibrosis is an inherited disease that affects organs in the body such as the lungs, liver, intestine and pancreas. Some of the symptoms include causing one to have trouble breathing due to the buildup of thick, sticky mucus within the lungs, a weak immune system and other complications. The current life expectancy for those living with Cystic Fibrosis is around 37 years old. The effects of these organs causes damages to the respiratory, reproductive, and digestive systems. According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Patient Registry, www.cff.org, there are more than 30,000 individuals living with Cystic Fibrosis and more than 70,000 worldwide. More than 75 % of people with CF are diagnosed by the age of 2 and there are approximately 1,000 new cases of CF diagnosed each year. Although there is no current cure for Cystic Fibrosis, treatments are improving rapidly each year.
My name is Teena Mobley and I have Cystic Fibrosis. I knew from a young age, growing up in Long Island, NY, that I was different from most children. However, I did not expect to be considered different due to my physical capabilities. At first, I was misdiagnosed with severe asthma, until one day I became really sick, to the point where the hospital became my home and after several test it was then concluded that I had Cystic Fibrosis. From that moment on, this diagnosis has only given me the strength and resolve to know what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.
For many years, I was able to mask this illness in public. At first I didn’t tell others because it was embarrassing, especially with all of the medications I had to take. I didn’t want people to treat me any different. Being active and playing sports my whole life has helped make my heart stronger and my lungs clearer. Being an athlete has tremendously helped my overall health.Living with Cystic Fibrosis is exceedingly challenging for me and many others. It is hard for others to understand what we go through on a day to day basis. In July 2017, I was blessed with a full time position at CBS Sports Network as an Ad sales assistant. My mornings start at 5 AM, in which I have to put on my vest and albuterol machine which takes about an hour. I do the same procedure when I come home from work.
I have always strived to be a positive role model and leave my mark on the world. A few years ago, I took my first step by sharing my own personal story, unbeknownst to me at the time, my story impacted many lives. I became a CF advocate and in December 2016 I created Redefining Life, a Cystic Fibrosis movement, as a way for me to give back to the community that I was a part of since I was little girl. I wanted to redefine the outlook people had on this illness and encourage others not to limit themselves. I wanted people to know they could do whatever they want to do in life. This illness does not define us. We can still achieve our dreams no matter what obstacle comes our way as long as we put our minds to it but the first step to achieving all that you want to do begins with a positive mindset. The doctors say that our capabilities are fairly limited, but I believe we can go past that! This movement gives me a platform. It gives me the voice to become a guest speaker at schools and programs as well as interview features on websites, podcasts, and publications. Recently, I was featured in a book publication called “The CF Warrior project” by Andy Lipman. I will continue to be a growing role model in my CF community, with hopes to one day start my own non-profit organization.
May is Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month where we shout a little louder for a cure to be found. Although there is no cure, we can help by raising awareness about this rare chronic illness. With the improvement of research and treatments many Cystic Fibrosis patients now have the hope to living a longer and healthier life.