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Mackenzie Jobe, a College Sophomore, Discusses the Challenges of Managing CF at School

Mackenzie Jobe is a 19-year-old a sophomore at the University of Arkansas, where she is studying elementary education. She was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF) when she was four days old.



WHAT WAS IT LIKE GROWING UP WITH CF?

I was really healthy as a child. I always knew that there was a chance I’d have to go to the hospital because of CF. But to me, having CF has always been really normal. When I was little, I played every single sport. I was a Girl Scout. I didn’t let CF get in the way.

A lot of people ask me if I feel sick, but honestly, I don’t. I’ve never had the opportunity to know what it feels like to live without CF. This is my normal.

"To me, having CF has always been really normal."
– Mackenzie Jobe

YOU’RE A SOPHOMORE IN COLLEGE. COULD YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR TRANSITION TO CARING FOR YOURSELF?

It was a big change for me, because even through high school my parents did everything for me. For a while during my freshman year, it was sometimes challenging to remember to take my pills or do my treatments, because I was so used to having someone get everything ready for me. Now, I’ve finally settled into a routine that works for me and I think I’ve handled the transition well.

One of the hardest parts about having CF as a college student, though, is the lack of freedom. Sometimes I’ll want to spend time with my friends, but I’ll have to set aside time for my treatments. Being hospitalized during the school year is also tough. You want to focus on getting better, but you also have school work on top of it.

WHO IN YOUR LIFE IS “ALL IN” FOR YOU?

My mom, dad, and sister. All 400 of my sisters in my sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma. My sorority does a lot to support CF – several girls have attended Great Strides Walks, others babysit for kids with CF, and many alumni are involved in fundraising for CF.

Team Mackenzie, which is a group of my friends, my friends’ families, and many other community members who fundraise for CF, is also all in for me. They walk with me in Great Strides walks whenever they take place nearby. Team Mackenzie has steadily grown in size over the years. The fact that so many people are there to support me makes me feel really loved.

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