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Meet All in for CF Scholarship Recipient Jenny Livingston
Jenny Livingston’s young daughter reminds her to live in the moment, despite the challenges of CF
Jenny Livingston has always strived to be a good role model for her daughter, Morgan, who just turned 8 years old. Lately, however, she finds herself trying to be more like Morgan.
“She reminds me to live in each moment, and helps me to appreciate the little things,” said Jenny, who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF) at birth and is among the first recipients of Vertex’s All in for CF scholarship.
"And I don’t think she has any idea that she does that for me.”
For much of her childhood, and well into her adult life, CF was a defining fact of Jenny’s existence. She grew up with four siblings – two sisters who had CF and two brothers who did not. One of her sisters passed away at the age of 14, when Jenny was 7 years old, at which point the family relocated from San Diego to Utah, where she and Morgan now live.
“When I was growing up, my sisters and I were always undergoing treatments or visiting the clinic or the hospital,” she said. “I think my brothers sometimes felt like the odd ones out since they didn’t have CF.”
Jenny has not let CF define her relationship with her daughter, who she is raising as a single parent. She and Morgan spend their time hiking and fishing, and they love exploring the outdoors together.
“We have an unusually close relationship,” Jenny said. “She’s just my little partner.”
Still, Morgan knows a lot about her mother’s CF and the disease has had an impact on both of their lives. A few years ago, Morgan watched Jenny endure a long stretch of hospitalizations, and sometimes took on a caretaker role. She brought her mother blankets, tucked her in at bedtime, and asked a lot of questions about the disease.
Morgan’s strength during that period inspired Jenny, whose health has been more stable lately, to return to college to earn a bachelor’s degree. She is now entering her junior year at Utah State University, where she is working towards a degree in psychology.
She hopes she is inspiring Morgan to continue to tackle all of life’s challenges with positivity and hard work.
“I want her to be strong and to persevere,” she said. “I love that she is seeing me not only manage my CF, but also going back to school. We’ve struggled, but we’ve made it, and I’m so proud that she is watching me accomplish my goals.”