ANCHORAGE (KTUU) Imagine being very active, experiencing all the outdoor activities that Alaska has to offer. For Mattie Deaton, she did just that. Growing up, she loved to fish, ski and was big into sports, and did it all while battling the progressive and degenerative lung disease Cystic Fibrosis.
Talking with her, you quickly realize her love for life. Pictures of her family, friends and cat surround the space where she spends a lot of her time. As independent as she can be, her daily routine still requires more than most. She mixes and administers several antibiotic treatments herself, goes through all of her oral medications, does nebulizer treatments and wears a percussion vest twice a day for 15 minutes. It helps break up any mucus in her lungs.
"Every time I do find a new normal, it seems to change and I have to adjust to another new normal," Deaton said.
She said living with CF is hard, but it's not impossible.
"It's all about how you look at things and how you approach things. There are things you can do to just push yourself forward, even if it's slowly and everything is temporary."
Most of her time is spent at home, but she still enjoys getting out. Having lived with the disorder all her life, she's learned to accept it and anything that comes with it as her new normal.
"I still am a person who enjoys life and looks forward to the future and just wants to be treated like that, like anyone else."
The type and severity of CF symptoms can differ widely from person to person. Although treatment plans can contain many of the same elements, they are tailored to each individual's unique circumstances.
There are also tuition and scholarship opportunities for those living with CF in Alaska. Click here for more information on that and the Shot for the Cure event in May.