Gunnar Gunnar Esiason

All articles by Gunnar

 

Making it Matter Ep. #50 – Claire’s Place

Claire Wineland, 20 with cystic fibrosis from California, joins the podcast to talk about her life with CF. After some significant health issues, Claire found that her calling in life was to do all she could to help people, so she started Claire’s Place Foundation in the hopes of helping people with CF directly. Since...
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Supplements and Alternative Remedies are not Substitutes for Medications

I posted this on my Facebook page yesterday…. And to the surprise of no one, it infuriated quite a few people, especially the medical marijuana people, so here I am writing about it! The article I was sharing was an IFL Science post about the results of a study that showed cancer patients are significantly...
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My Running Journey – Day 1

So I went for a run today, and let me tell you….. I f*cking hate running. If you know me, then you know running is the bane of my existence, probably to the point where I’d rather stab my eyeballs out than go running. But I went for a run, and I actually kind of...
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My Response to Some Gene-Editing Naysayers

As I sat in my “treatment” chair this morning, sucking down some medication and shaking in my Vest, I came across an article that shows us the debate over the ethics surrounding CRISPR-Cas9 has not only begun, but is also alive and well. I wrote about CRISPR last week, albeit in a satirical tone, and praised...
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Making it Matter Ep. #49 – #24hrs4cf

Josh Lewellyn-Jones, 30 with cystic fibrosis, joins the podcast again, this time to recap his #24hrs4cf fitness challenge, which was a massive success. Josh mentions that while he was able to fundraise quite a bit for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust in the UK, it was nothing compared to the awareness raised around the event. Over...
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Time Management Tips For Home IV

So some good news – I came off IV’s yesterday. It looks like I will be free to enjoy the rest of my summer. Coincidentally, I’ve gotten a few questions about how I am able to manage my time while I’m on IV. So I figured we can tackle that topic in a blog post...
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Making it Matter Ep. #48 – Chronic Rejection

Travis Flores, 26 with cystic fibrosis, joins the podcast to talk about his life with CF, journey through double lung transplant and now his battle with chronic rejection. Travis has been active in advocacy for people with CF and organ transplant, as well as a successful actor/writer/producer. He recently launched a blog, “chronically happy,” where...
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CRISPR-Cas9, Rejoice or Panic?

CRISPR-Cas9 successfully eliminated a genetic illness from an embryo. Now everyone is either celebrating a massive success or in total panic. Source – Scientists for the first time have successfully edited genes in human embryos to repair a common and serious disease-causing mutation, producing apparently healthy embryos, according to a study published on Wednesday. The...
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What an Invisible Illness Looks Like

A quick little post today. I want to try and get into the daily blog game, so I guess here’s an attempt at that. “Invisible illness” is a phrase that we throw around quite a bit in the CF world (also something we’ve talked about on the podcast), and to be totally honest, it’s not...
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Cystic Fibrosis Around the World: Republic of Ireland

Today’s interview comes from our first participant who is post double lung transplant. Luke Doherty is also Team Boomer‘s athlete of the month for August. He joined the Making it Matter podcast as well, have a listen HERE. Dublin, Republic of Ireland, Luke Doherty, 26, living with cystic fibrosis. About how many people in your...
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Making it Matter Ep. #47 – Being a Father With Cystic Fibrosis

Jon Whitbred joins the podcast this week. He is 36 years old living with cystic fibrosis, married, works a full time job and is the father of 3 boys. Infertility is common among men with CF, so Jon takes us through his journey with in-vitro fertilization (IVF). He points out that the part men play...
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Cystic Fibrosis Around the World: Lebanon

We are back in the Middle East for another Cystic Fibrosis Around the World blog. Please note that the brackets [] indicate an edit I made for spelling or language.  Beirut, Lebanon, Anonymous Adult living with cystic fibrosis. About how many people in your country have cystic fibrosis? No one I know, but I guess...
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Making it Matter Ep. #46 – The Salt Cysters

Aleeya and Alani Young, 18 year old twins battling cystic fibrosis, and better know as the Salt Cysters, join the podcast to talk about their lives with cystic fibrosis. Recent high school graduates, they discuss some of their ambitions, including both of them heading off to the University of Cincinnati in the Fall. The sisters...
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Cystic Fibrosis Around the World: France

Cystic Fibrosis Around the World returns with an interview coming to us from France! As always, if you or someone you know living abroad with cystic fibrosis would like to be included in #CFAroundTheWorld get in touch with me at [email protected] I will be featuring several countries new to the blog series once a week over...
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Making it Matter Ep. #45 – Cystic Fibrosis, Double-Lung Transplant and Fitness in Ireland

Julia and I welcome Luke Doherty, 26 with cystic fibrosis from Dublin, Ireland, to the podcast this week. Luke talks his recent journey through a double lung transplant, which has needed to include chemotherapy treatment for PTLD. To that end, we talk about some of the differences between the American and Irish transplant listing procedures....
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Alcohol, Tattoos and Chronic Illness

Ever since I mentioned my alcohol intake in the Diet blog post a couple week ago, talked about my feeding tube beer funnel on the PodFathers Barstool Sports podcast and reposted my 7 Summer Tips blog post, I’ve gotten a number of emails asking about the evolution of my feelings towards social drinking. To that...
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Making it Matter Ep. #44 – International Travel with Cystic Fibrosis

Rachael Russell, 22 years old living with cystic fibrosis and a 2x Boomer Esiason Foundation Scholarship winner, talks about her recent post-graduation trip to Europe. Fulfilling a lifelong dream, her and friend backpacked across Europe for a month – which is something far more bold than I would ever try to do. She discusses all...
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My Spring: Fundraisers, Speaking and New Programs

The spring is always a pretty exciting time for me. We have a number of Boomer Esiason Foundation fundraisers each year that bring in a ton of money for the fight against cystic fibrosis. Just last week we were up in New Hampshire for the annual DCU for Kids golf outing, which we’ve not only...
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Making it Matter Ep. #43 – Our College Roommates

It’s that time of year – high school is winding down, seniors are graduating and the next wave of kids with cystic fibrosis are about to head off to college. While it certainly is an exciting time in a young person’s life, it can also be pretty stressful, especially for parents as they send their...
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My Cystic Fibrosis Diet

Earlier this week I got an email from a reader asking me whether or not I adhere to a diet plan, and if so, what does it look like? If you know me personally, you know I am anything but a foodie – I have the palate of a 6 year old and I’m really pretty...
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Common Sense: Chronic Illness Version

As I’ve gotten older (and seemingly wiser), I’ve come to realize that certain things are common sense as they relate to living with a chronic illness. It has gotten to the point where I take them for granted – I know this because from time to time I’ll drop in on cystic fibrosis Facebook communities,...
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Making it Matter Ep. #42 – Bouncing Back

Julia and I take a question this week that asks us how we bounce back after we get sick. We note that people with CF, regardless of how well they take care of themselves are always going to be at risk of developing an active infection or feeling under the weather. It can be frustrating...
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Cystic Fibrosis Around the World: A Reflection

Throughout the second half of May I ran my Cystic Fibrosis Around the World blog series. My goal behind the project was to compare the “patient” experience among people living with CF across the globe and learn about the different types of care offered. It was really a culmination of many weeks of interviews and...
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Making it Matter Ep. #41 – Being a Mother With Cystic Fibrosis

Sabrina Smith-Walker, 30 with cystic fibrosis from Alaska, joins the podcast. Her story is nothing short of amazing. After graduating high school she was diagnosed with cancer, which she went on to beat. From there she talks about her marriage and healthy lifestyle. Ultimately the podcast settles into Sabrina talking about her being a loving...
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Cystic Fibrosis Around the World: United States of America

Here we are, back home in the United States. I hope this blog post is really as informative for our international followers as it is for people living across the US. I think it would be irresponsible of me to say that two interviews could represent the feelings of all the people living with CF...
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Cystic Fibrosis Around the World: Australia

We head to Australia as the first leg of Cystic Fibrosis Around the World begins to wrap up. Tomorrow I will post my American interviews, then write a recap blog later in the week (probably Friday) where I will reflect on everything I’ve learned throughout the project so far. We will then pick up the blog...
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Cystic Fibrosis Around the World: Spain and Denmark

We head to Spain and Denmark in today’s Cystic Fibrosis Around the World blog post. The interviews that came back from each country were both a bit brief, so I felt it appropriate to combine the two. I think this way of doing things actually serves to point out some significant differences despite the relative...
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Making it Matter Ep. #40 – Coming To Grips With A Terminal Illness

No one loves to talk about death, but it is something that surrounds people with cystic fibrosis. Really it surrounds us all, but in a world that thrives on precise information, people tie themselves to a number – the life expectancy. It’s no secret how I feel about that statistic, but the idea of death in conjunction...
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Cystic Fibrosis Around the World: the United Kingdom

We head to the United Kingdom to take a look at cystic fibrosis care in the next installment of Cystic Fibrosis Around the World. Today you’ll meet William Marler, 22 years old living with CF, from Birmingham, England. William and I have gotten to know each other a bit over the past couple of months...
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Cystic Fibrosis Around the World: U.S. Virgin Islands

The U.S. Virgin Islands is our next stop for Cystic Fibrosis Around the World. The group of islands, located in the Caribbean, is officially designated as a territory of the United States. According to the interview the known cystic fibrosis patient population is 1. I’d love to find out more about that statistic, though. St....
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Cystic Fibrosis Around the World: Macedonia

We head to Skopje, Macedonia to open up the second week of Cystic Fibrosis Around the World. Macedonia is a landlocked country located in the Balkans, just north of Greece. It is a relatively young country as it gained its independence from the dissolution of Yugoslavia in the early 90’s. Somewhat of a language barrier...
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Cystic Fibrosis Around the World: Canada

We head to our second commonwealth country, Canada, to wrap up the first week of Cystic Fibrosis Around the World. A study comparing cystic fibrosis outcomes in Canada and the US was one of my motivations in starting this project, so I wanted to talk to a few of my northern neighbors. Today you’ll meet Amanda Turkiewicz,...
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Cystic Fibrosis Around the World: Israel

Cystic Fibrosis Around the World heads to the Middle East to learn about CF care in Israel. Israel, Anonymous teenager living with CF (completed interview with help from a parent). About how many people in your country have cystic fibrosis? 600 Do people in your country know what CF is? Many have heard of the...
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Making it Matter Ep. #39 – Cystic Fibrosis in the UK

William Marler, 22 with cystic fibrosis from Birmingham, England, joins the podcast to talk about his efforts in raising CF awareness on an international level. From his animated short film “PEP Mask,” to his upcoming podcast series Straight From the Lungs to his London Marathon run in 2015, William has shown that it is possible...
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Cystic Fibrosis Around the World: the Netherlands

Today we head to Northern Europe – the Netherlands. Please note the brackets [] indicate an edit for spelling or language. the Netherlands, Anonymous child living with CF (parent completed interview). About how many people in your country have cystic fibrosis? On average 1500 people Do people in your country know what CF is? Some...
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Cystic Fibrosis Around the World: Russia

Cystic Fibrosis Around the World takes us to Russia today. Please note that the brackets [] indicate an edit I made for spelling or language.  Moscow, Russia – Anna 6 years old living with cystic fibrosis (parent completed interview) About how many people in your country have cystic fibrosis? In 2015 officially 2916 patients were...
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Cystic Fibrosis Around the World: South Africa

Today I am launching a daily blog series called Cystic Fibrosis Around the World that will run for the next week or so (and hopefully continue as more people get in touch with me). This in response to a blog post I wrote in March that remarked on a study comparing disease outcomes between patients...
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Making it Matter Ep. #38 – Both Salty Cysters

Both Lea Faraone and Tiffany Rich, both living with CF, just on different sides of the country, join us on the podcast this week. Together, they are the Salty Cysters, a social media brand designed to spread awareness and raise money for the fight against cystic fibrosis. Tiffany is the recent recipient of a double...
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I Made A Travel Error

I did something pretty stupid last week, which almost led to a catastrophe. One of my best friends is getting married in a couple of weeks, so we went down to Austin last week for his bachelor party. In a lot of ways, it seems like a large part of my life has been spent...
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Making it Matter Ep. #37 – Communicating About Cystic Fibrosis

Julia and I discuss the importance of being able to openly communicate about cystic fibrosis with other people. Expanding the support system to include friends, teachers, teammates, school administrators, college professors, roommates and coworkers (just to name a few) can be vital to a person’s success in coping with CF. While it may not always be...
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11 Times I Have Been Judged for Having Cystic Fibrosis

Well, May is here so that means it is the start of Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month, or in other words, a chance for us to jam as much CF content down your throat as possible so that you hopefully come away with some inclination of what it is like to live with CF and why...
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It is Okay to Ask for Help!

Last week Julia Rae and I invited Marge Carfora, 34 with cystic fibrosis, onto the Making it Matter Podcast to talk to her about her amazing path through life 13 years post double lung transplant. Since being transplanted near the turn of the millennium, Marge has faced a number of complications associated with post transplant...
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Can Social Media Be a Dangerous Place for People With Chronic Illness?

Is there such a thing as over sharing on social media? Yes there is. More and more frequently do we see different influencers come into the social media space and try to take our information and use it in unique ways. It’s really not too difficult of a task for someone (an employer) to paint...
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Making it Matter Ep. #36 – Cystic Fibrosis, Transplant and Motherhood

Margaret Carfora embodies the word perseverance. In honor of National Donate Life Month, Julia and I invited Marge, 34 living with cystic fibrosis, onto the podcast to talk about her life 13 years post-double lung transplant. Her second chance at life has not been without adversity as she’s had to face PTLD, Cervical Cancer and Breast...
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Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired

I got a question from a reader not too long ago that asked: “What do you do when you are just so sick and fed up of being sick?” Sick of being sick, isn’t that a hell of a thing? Well it’s true. I don’t care how resilient or tough you are, this feeling is...
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Making it Matter Ep. #35 – Tips for Kids with Cystic Fibrosis

Julia and I take a question from a listener this week who asks if we have a few strategies for getting kids with CF to stay compliant with their medications. We start off with a few points about taking pills (especially in bulk), then move on to the rest of CF treatments. We want to...
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Making it Matter Ep. #34 – Josh’s #24hrs4CF Fitness Challenge

Josh Llewellyn-Jones joins the podcast this week to talk about his #24hrs4CF Fitness Challenge. In July Josh, 29 living with cystic fibrosis in Cardiff, Wales, plans to complete a 100-mile cycle, 10-mile run, 10-mile row, 10 miles of cross training, two-mile swim, lifting 100 tons, 3,000 sit-ups, 1,000 push-ups and 1,000 squats in under 24...
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Making it Matter Ep. #33 – Coming to Grips With Cystic Fibrosis

In this episode, Julia and I talk about the moments that we each “realized” that we would be living with cystic fibrosis for the rest of our lives. We are able to point to a specific moment when we both felt a change occur. For Julia it was in first grade, and me when I...
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A Review of “When Breath Becomes Air” From Someone Living With Lung Disease

I just finished reading When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi and have since felt a strong urge to write about it… so here we are. The book, which has been a New York Times Bestseller seemingly since it came out last year, is a memoir about a resident neurosurgeon’s path through a stage IV...
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Making it Matter Ep. #32 – Cystic Fibrosis and Fitness

Last week I challenged Julia to a fitness test. I wanted to know who could be the fastest to complete 500 sit-ups, and thus the Making it Matter Fitness Challenge was born. Tune in this week’s podcast not only to find out who won, but also to listen to Julia and I talk about why exercise is...
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