The Ac­ci­den­tal Poster Child for Cys­tic Fi­bro­sis

Wellness Update - - Health News -

In 1993, Boomer Esi­a­son and son Gun­nar graced the cover of Sports Il­lus­trated. While Boomer merely in­tended to go pub­lic with his cru­sade to fight CF, the heart steal­ing photo of a smil­ing cherub on his dad’s shoul­der’s made Gun­nar the un­of­fi­cial poster child for the dis­ease. Twenty years later, Gun­nar has em­braced that role with the style and a mat­ter of fact at­ti­tude. “I guess I am the un­of­fi­cial poster child for the dis­ease and I don’t mind,” he says. “I en­joy help­ing peo­ple un­der­stand the dis­ease and help them get the most out of life. I find that too of­ten peo­ple are scared to share the dis­ease and some­times they use it as a crutch. That’s un­for­tu­nate. Go­ing away to col­lege was a big step for Gun­nar as well. His choices were limited to a col­lege that had to be lo­cated close to med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties ex­pe­ri­enced in deal­ing with CF. He chose Bos­ton col­lege be­cause of Bos­ton Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal and the Dana Far­ber Hos­pi­tal be­ing min­utes away. That made his mother a lit­tle more com­fort­able, but she also liked the idea that he was only a lit­tle more than three hour drive from home. Of course, the choice of Bos­ton was easy for Gun­nar since it is a huge hockey school, one of his fa­vorite sports. “I un­der­stood my mom’s con­cerns,” Gun­nar noted. “But I have al­ways known the steps I have to take and the

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