Sep 12th, 2016

Thank You HPU – A Follow up Story

This week marks a year since “My Road Back to HPU” blog and let me tell you, it’s been quite a long one. If you haven’t read that post, I highly suggest reading it before this one because it recaps the ups and downs of my summer after my freshman year at High Point University. There was something that I purposefully left out while writing last year, but that I am ready to deal with now. A year ago, I was waiting for results that would confirm what my doctors had suspected since my first hospitalization at Boston Children’s Hospital. Just after the New Year, I went into the hospital and received the results for genetic testing that stated I had two gene mutations. This meant that I have Cystic Fibrosis. Cystic Fibrosis is a progressive, genetic disease that primarily affects the lungs and the digestive system.

It’s a weird feeling to think that I haven’t known myself until now. But isn’t that what college is all about? A time to find yourself, learn your likes and dislikes, make friendships and get diagnoses? I’m kidding on the last part, but that’s what it’s been like for me and I wouldn’t change any of it. I am so incredibly grateful for each moment that has happened this past year, even though they haven’t all been happy moments; I’ve been able to learn from each of them.

People often say how sorry they are after hearing about my diagnosis. This bothers me because there’s nothing I can do about it and honestly, it’s better now that I know. Nothing about me has changed, now we just have a name for all my symptoms. Things finally make sense for me! With this diagnosis I can take better care of myself and make better choices. I am determined to make the most of this information and educate others about Cystic Fibrosis any way I can.

If you know me personally, you know how I am a firm believer in that most things happen for a reason and going to this school is definitely an example of this. In my short three years at High Point University I have met the greatest people, people that I certainly would not be able to live without. My best friends at High Point have my back no matter what, and I am so thankful for them. My Kappa Delta sisters are always there for me—day or night, just like I am for them. There are two specific people I am eternally grateful to have met through this school. The first is a High Point University mom and happens to be one of the National Volunteer Leadership Co-Chairs for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. She has helped my mom and I more than she knows. She taught us what CF really means and how to live with it.

The second person, Maddii, has become one of my closest friends since “meeting” her last year. I know her through one of my sorority sisters here at HPU and talk to her just about every day. If you are unfamiliar with Cystic Fibrosis, it is dangerous for CF patients to come in contact with each other. We are not supposed to be in the same room and outside we should be a least six feet apart. She has been living with CF for 19 years and understands things others without this disease cannot. Thanks to modern technology, it feels like she’s with me every step of the way even though she lives five states away.

So, thank you High Point University for so many things. Thank you for giving me a home-away-from-home, an amazing support system and surprising relationships I can’t live without. But most of all, thank you for allowing me to learn from these experiences and grow as a person.

By: Cat Kurban ’18

Cat Kurban