At 4 months old, Travis was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, a life-long genetic disease that attacks the respiratory & digestive systems. Travis is an award-winning children’s book author and nationally recognized speaker & advocate for multiple charities. May is Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month.
My name is Travis Flores, I’m 27 years old, I have cystic fibrosis, and I’ve had two double lung transplants.
Cystic fibrosis effects about one in 25,000 people in the United States, it’s certainly not as rare as a lot of other illnesses and conditions, but I am a proud supporter of the Rare Disease Community and I do what I can to help illness in anyway that I can.
People are diagnosed with CF before they’re born, it’s one of those tests that they do while the baby is a fetus I guess. For me I was four months old, I was malnourished and went into like a very comatose state and my mom rushed me to the hospital. Test after test came back negative and negative and sure enough the one that we didn’t want came back positive for cystic fibrosis. At the time in 1991 there wasn’t a lot of research, they didn’t even discover the gene until 1992 I believe, so there wasn’t a lot about CF that was known. It was a scary time I imagine for my parents and family, but I’m 27 now, I was given five years to live when I was born, so I’ve beat that by 22 years.
I’m very fortunate that I have parents that have always supported me and as I’ve gotten older my brothers have been just as supportive. When I was born, like I said, there wasn’t a lot of research here in Los Angeles where we lived for cystic fibrosis so my parents found the hospital in Ohio, Cincinnati Children’s, which was one of the leading hospitals in research for cystic fibrosis so my family didn’t hesitate, we just packed out lives up. My parents were born and raised in Los Angeles, all of our family was in Los Angeles, so for them to do that it was I imagine a very difficult decision. They packed up their lives and we left and I was…