A Q&A WITH JASON REID
Jason Reid is a 35-year-old police officer from Simsbury, Connecticut. He was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF) when he was 6 months old. Jason helped found the Hartford Cystic Fibrosis Inpatient Fund to assist people with CF and their families during inpatient hospital stays.
How did you decide to be a police officer? Has having CF affected your career?
It was always my dream to be a police officer. My father was a police officer, and his grandfather was too. It’s something that runs in my family. But there were a few people along the way who said it might not be possible.
Becoming a police officer is a lengthy process and the very last portion is a medical screening and a physical ability test. I was signed off by a medical officer, and I’ve been doing my job now for 13 years. It is a strenuous and stressful career, but I enjoy what I do and I work hard to stay healthy so I can keep it up.
Why did you help create the Hartford CF inpatient fund?
Founding the Hartford Cystic Fibrosis Inpatient Fund is one of the things I am most proud of. The idea began when I transitioned my care to Hartford Hospital and joined their adult CF advisory board. I began sharing some of the experiences I have had as a patient, and we decided to create a fund to give back to patients and families while they are inpatients at Connecticut Children’s Hospital and Hartford Hospital.
Our aim is to make things easier on patients and their families. We work with a social worker to determine what each patient might need to make their stay easier. For example, we have games and electronic devices for children to play with. We also mentor families with kids growing up with CF. I’ve now spoken to several families who have newborns with CF to share with them my experience growing up with the disease.
What advice would you give to children living with CF?
There are probably very few people with CF who are police officers. I think it is extremely important that kids know that people with CF can achieve their dreams. Some of us become police officers. Some might become firefighters. And some might have a family and live happily.
Who is All In for you?
I have so much support. My wife, Robyn, my 8-year-old stepdaughter Emma, and my 2-year-old daughter Charleigh are all in for me. Robyn will never let me miss a treatment, and she insists I call my doctor even when I am feeling just a little bit down.
Another person who is completely all in is the CF Social Worker at Hartford Hospital, and the creator of the Hospital’s Adult CF Board. She uses her own time, away from her family, to help patients with CF. She always thinks of patients first, and is constantly helping me to get patients what they need through the Hartford CF Inpatient Fund.