In January 2011 I lost one of bridesmaids, J. Scarlett Hubbard. I was one of the lucky people who had the honor of calling her my best friend. But Scarlett struggled with cystic fibrosis from birth and at age 22 she was taken from us. As I plan my wedding, I can’t help but feel like something will be missing.
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a life threatening genetic disease that primary affects the lungs and digestive system. An estimated 30,000 children and adults in the United States and 70,000 others worldwide suffer from cystic fibrosis. People with CF have a defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick mucus that clogs the lungs and leads to life threatening lung infections. CF also obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down food and absorb vital nutrients.
Photography, art, laughing, rainbows and gummy bears are some of the many things that defined Scarlett. How could you not love a person who loved those simple things out of life? She had a laugh that was contagious, mouth of a truck driver, and a heart so big it was impossible to miss. Scarlett never wanted to be defined by CF and never talked about it until her last months with us. Just a few days before she passed I went to see her and even lying there with barely any strength she still put a smile on my face. In that moment when I said goodbye to her I knew it would be my last goodbye.
3 years ago I said goodbye to her, and for the past 3 years I’ve been able to take part in Great Strides for CF to honor her. Whether it was $5000 or $1, it was my way of letting Scarlett know she still means so much to me. This Sunday (6/1), Brian, the rest of Team Scarlett and I will be walking in Manhattan’s CF walk. If you’d like to join us or donate to our team, please click this link. All donations (tax-deductible) benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, adding tomorrows to many who live with CF.