A family’s message to the public about facing two deadly illnesses

KNWA

"To walk by someone or be in the same room with others who aren't wearing a mask, it's nerve-racking," Hickman said.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — It’s cystic fibrosis awareness month, and the people dealing with the disorder are also considered high-risk for COIVID-19.

COURTESY OF AMY HICKMAN

Amy Hickman is the mother to 5-year-old Azaylee.

“We’ve seen this vivacious 5-year-old girl endure so much from the time she was five weeks old,” she said.

Azaylee has cystic fibrosis — a very rare genetic disorder in which the lungs and digestive system get clogged with mucus.

The average lifespan for someone with cystic fibrosis is between 35 to 40 years.

DR. BLAKE HANSEN, FAMILY PHYSICIAN, NORTHWEST HEALTH

According to Northwest Health Family Physician Dr. Blake Hansen, people with cystic fibrosis are at a high-risk for getting all kinds of respiratory infections — including COVID-19.

“This has a big impact on everything in their lives, and everything in their parents’ lives too,” Dr. Hansen said.

To walk by someone or be in the same room with others who aren’t wearing a mask, it’s nerve-racking.

AMY HICKMAN, DAUGHTER HAS CYSTIC FIBROSIS

Facing two deadly illnesses, tacks on more stressors for families like Hickman’s during this pandemic.

“I’m not going to lie, it’s been scary,” Hickman said. “It’s concerning.”

That’s why she wants to remind us to think about when and how to go out in public.

“Don’t wear a mask for yourself,” Hickman said. “Make that sacrifice, regardless of what you believe, for others who are nervous being out in public with people not wearing masks.”

For more information about cystic fibrosis, or how you can help — click here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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