Hi! I'm Mandie Sherman, a wife, mom, educator, friend, and I have Cystic Fibrosis. I always say, "Cystic Fibrosis runs alongside me, it does not stand in my way, or define who I am." My motto is "Conquer All" because I know my terminal illness will never go away, I have to stand up to whatever it throws at me.
We find so much strength + bravery when reading Mandie's story. Her optimistic outlook on life + trials is inspiring. If we could all be a little bit more like Mandie, the world would be that much better.
What are the roles or hats you lead in your life?
In no particular order...Husband kisser (okay, this one is first), diaper changer, sister chatter, mommy's girl. Friend hugger, candy eater, chronic cougher. Cystic Fibrosis patient, advocate and educator. I also became a Respiratory Therapist to help others and to study my disease in a different light/perspective.
I had a miracle baby two and a half years ago. My doctor said in 40+ years of his practice I was his ninth patient to conceive. Not birth a child, but actually conceive.
Which hat do you find most rewarding?
Oh, tricky question! The joy that I experience when my son grasps a new skill - makes all the pregnancy and labor pains worth it. But the accomplishment I feel when I have seen improvement or positive progression in my disease is profoundly rewarding and truly life changing.
What hats do you find are most challenging and what do you do to embrace them?
My balance hat. We all know mothering isn't a part time gig, but caring and managing my daily routine is also a full time job. I spend well over 40 hours/week doing treatments, attending Dr. appts and managing my prescriptions, insurance issues/questions and medical bills. Being a stay-at-home mother, I also need to find the time to clean, cook and everything else it takes to run a household. Luckily my husband is a team player and happy to help out around the home.
What hats are least known about you?
My Sriracha hat. I am a Sriracha fanatic, putting it on everything from apples to pizza and receiving it as birthday gifts from friends. Unfortunately, this hat has had to be hung up. My daily reflux symptoms have increased dramatically and controlling reflux is crucial in maintaining healthy lungs. Did you know that by the time you've felt the acid reflux burn in your throat, it has gone high enough to spill into your lungs causing tissue damage?
Who or what inspires you?
My predecessors inspire me. The CF patients who have fought this battle before me and gained their wings. They did not lose their fight against Cystic Fibrosis, but rather earned their rights to move on to the next life. I put in the work to make them proud.
The young ones, who have just started this journey. I work hard participating in studies, and educating as many as I can about CF, so that these little guys will have a better life than I, and grow old enough to experience grey hair.
Also, certainly not last or least, my husband and son. The fire that never dwindles. I can't give anything short of my best, I mean what would these two do without me ;)