May is National Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month and we wanted to honor one of our photo shoot models, Olivia Dean, who was diagnosed with the disease at birth. Below you’ll see photos of adorable Olivia and read about her through the words of her parents, Natalie and Luke.
You’ll also see links to the CF foundation’s website and Olivia’s sponsorship page.
Thanks for sharing your story, Natalie and Luke. We are thrilled to have Olivia as part of the L&L family.
My name is Natalie Dean. My husband Luke and I have a two year old daughter, Olivia who has Cystic Fibrosis.
When we first found out I was pregnant with our first child, Luke and I were both in a state of shock. We weren’t trying to start a family at that time, but after the initial shock wore off we both were ecstatic about becoming new parents and growing our family from two to three. During my pregnancy I was tested positive as a CF carrier and we decided to go ahead and have Luke tested as well. He tested negative and as a result we thought we were in the clear.
Olivia was born without complications and seemed like a normal, healthy baby. Soon after, however, Olivia wasn’t gaining enough weight and didn’t have a bowel movement within the first few days. Our pediatrician was concerned and sent us over to Kaiser in San Carlos where specialists examined Olivia and tried to diagnose the problem. They did a quick fix that got her back on track, but what we thought was just a small hiccup was just the beginning. After a few weeks, Olivia still wasn’t gaining weight and had dropped a full pound since birth. At that point, her doctors diagnosed Olivia with “failure to thrive.” Our pediatrician sent us to see a pulmonology specialist where a sweat test was done on Olivia and she was immediately put on enzymes. Olivia began gaining weight immediately and the results of the sweat test and newborn screening confirmed that our daughter had Cystic Fibrosis. One of the most devastating things you can hear as a parent is that your child has a life-threatening disorder. It’s not normal to think that you might outlive your child and there is nothing you can do to change that. What we soon realized though, was that if our daughter was going to have CF, this was the generation to have it with all the new up and coming drug research being done.
Since then, Olivia has been gaining weight and growing strong. It is a blessing that she has contracted only a handful of bacteria’s including Pseudomonas and has yet to be hospitalized. Like most two-year -olds, she is a mix of curiosity, energy, and an independent spirit all her own. Her lively personality is such that anyone who knows her or is around her is captured by her sweetness and joy. Luke and I are not naive to the fact that this healthy stretch in her life can quickly change, which is why we need people like you to help raise awareness and funds to find a cure for our children and friends with Cystic Fibrosis.
Here’s my sponsorship page:
And here is the foundations direct website: