Inspiring Hope and Happiness for Those with Cystic Fibrosis

Inspiring Hope and Happiness for Those with Cystic Fibrosis

"The call from Take A Breather couldn't have
come at a better time...The trip truly gave us
an opportunity to "breathe"!
-The Bertrand Family

Maddi Takes A Breather from CF in Hawaii

Like many 17-year-olds, Maddi enjoys hanging out with friends, watching movies (especially at the movie theatre), going to the escape room (where she works), playing the flute and piano, and simply chilling at home. However, unlike many others at her age, Maddi lives with the various daily challenges presented by cystic fibrosis (CF). Maddi describes how her senior year of high school was a unique experience because sometimes a simple hangout with friends would frequently be shortened due to her treatments and need for ample rest. She also describes how her decision on where to attend college had one additional factor: which school location would be best for her health. And Maddi’s health was very important to consider; Maddi’s mom describes how Maddi, “spent most of her Senior Year of High School in the hospital or home-bound and she was listed for a double lung transplant”. Yet Maddi knows how to stay upbeat despite the challenges she faces. Maddi’s CF social worker describes how Maddi tries to be as active as possible; she enjoys choir, band, involvement with her church, and traveling when she is well enough.

It was one of these travels- a family trip to Michigan- that Maddi’s family took when she was a little girl that inspired her 2018 wish vacation. When asked what Maddi would like for her wish, she described a memory from that Michigan trip when she and her brother rode in a helicopter for a few minutes, and she loved it. Since then, Maddi has always wanted to ride in a helicopter again. She says, “and doing it in Hawaii… it would be like I was in a dream world.”

To help make this dream possible, Maddi was nominated for a Take A Breather wish. Molly at Take A Breather worked with Maddi for almost a year, trying to coordinate the perfect opportunity, which, at first, just wasn’t working out. Then, one spring day at Take A Breather, Molly received a call saying that a trip to Hawaii was available for a Take A Breather wish recipient, courtesy of an anonymous donor. Right away, Molly knew that Maddi would be a great candidate for the vacation. Maddi’s mom, Linda, describes how, “the call from Take A Breather couldn’t have come at a better time!”

Soon, Maddi was off to Maui, Hawaii, along with her mom and her three younger siblings: Zachary, Grace, and Gabrielle! The trip was a blast- they took a helicopter ride, just as Maddi had wished, rode horses on the beach, soaked up the sun, enjoyed dinners out, savored the Hawaiian scenery, and more!

The trip also provided an opportunity for the family to spend time together, as Linda, Maddi’s mom, writes: “The entire family needed time to take a break from hospitalizations, IV’s, and doctors’ appointments. The trip truly gave us an opportunity to “breathe”! We were blessed with a trip to Hawaii and surrounded by God’s beauty. We were able to have a respite from the demands of the disease. Our family made memories that will last a lifetime! We are so very thankful to Take A Breather and our anonymous donor who made this very special trip possible! Molly and Matt, you feel like part of our family now and hold a special place in our hearts!”