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Hey guys!

I have some really exciting news! On August 27th we will be headed to Texas Childrens Hospital. We will be passing out prepaid credit cards ranging from $25 – $50 to caregivers and families of those with Cystic Fibrosis that are currently in the hospital. As you all know the 14th Floor holds a very special place in my heart. I have been in and out of the hospital now for 20 years and I know how hard it can be on parents and caregivers when your child is in the hospital for 10-14 days at a time or even longer. The prepaid cards can be used to pay for parking or even buy a few meals. For families in the hospital this will help ease the financial stress. Any small act of kindness makes a difference.

So, this is where you can make an impact! If you would like to donate any prepaid credit cards to be passed out, feel free to mail them to our address below. Like I said before we are trying to aim for any amount ranging from $25 – $50 but any donation is appreciated. Also, if you would like to send money rather than buy the cards, we will be happy to do that as well. I will include my paypal email below for cash donations.

I hope yall are having an amazing day and remember….. just keep breathin’ (:

Address for gift card donations: P.O. Box 627 Woodville, TX 75979

Paypal for cash donations: brooke_wolcott@yahoo.com

August 13, 2018 0 comment
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Well guys, it’s been a little while!

So much has happened in the past year. I am currently admitted to TCH right now. Got a little under the weather with all my running around and it was time for a tune up. On the positive side? It’s been over 7 months since my last hospital admission. That’s something to celebrate if you ask me! When I came in my FEV1 was 34% and my weight was down 6 pounds. The doctors decided to put me on continuous Ceftazidime and Tobramycin as well as TPN and lipids, which is just extra fats and supplements they give through my IV to help add a little bit of weight. I am never quite fond of being hooked up to my IV 24/7 but that seems to be the best treatment to get things moving quickly. Today marks day 8, so we had PFT’s this morning. While we were expecting a jump, we did not expect the huge jump that we got! My FEV1 increased to 50%!! The highest since September of 2017. I also gained 10 pounds in just a little under 5 days. Crazy, right? We were so happy with the improvements I’ve made in just these last couple of days. Clearly the medication and treatment plan is working. As of now, the plan is to repeat PFT’s Wednesday. If there’s no change, odds are I will be headed home. If there’s more improvement, of course, we will stay until they stop going up! I want to be as well as possible before I leave here. Another goal going into this admission was to get my PFT’s in the mid 40’s low 50’s. If that happens I will qualify for a treatment study here at Texas Children’s. The study (new drug) targets those of us with CF which have only one copy of the Delta F508 gene. It has been shown to help stabilize PFT’s and weight gain. This is the final phase of the study before it becomes FDA approved and released to the public. Dr. Hiatt thinks I will really benefit from this study so we’re doing everything we can to qualify! Basically, this stay is crucial on getting all my numbers back up as high as they can be. I have a lot coming up this next year that I need to be healthy for! Be on the look-out for several new blogs coming up! I have a lot of exciting news to share with you guys! I am going to do better and try to post every week, things have just been so busy lately. I’m finally starting to slow down a little bit and have more time to write. Until then, I hope y’all are having a blessed week and remember, just keep breathin’ 🙂

July 16, 2018 0 comment
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When you have cystic fibrosis, the people in your life are beyond important. Whether it comes from your parents, friends, doctors, or nurses. The love and support they provide becomes a pillar of strength and encouragement during the hard times. There is a remarkable and unique beauty in the love they provide experienced through their selfless acts. They aren’t there because someone else is watching. They are motivated by compassion and driven to act on behalf of others. These are the people God has placed by my side in the fight against CF. We celebrate the victories and stand together through the defeats. They push me to stay positive. They push me to smile through the rough times and laugh during the good. They’re the people who know that sometimes I don’t need them to understand, but to simply be there.

Cami and Crystal have been there for me for almost 11 years now. It takes a special person doing extraordinary things to cause a little kid to look forward to her two week hospital stay. Between the water syringe fights, playing baseball in the hallway by the elevators, and wheelchair races…you made the hospital stays enjoyable and made me feel like I wasn’t a patient. Every day is brighter when you are around. No words are sufficient to describe the love I have for you both.

Arthur… or should I say Slick 😉 I am no longer small enough to hide underneath the nurses station and scare you breathless. I guess becoming an adult has its ups and downs! You’ve taken care of me longer than I can even remember. And although I drove you nuts with countless pranks over all the years, you have always had my back. Even on the darkest days you could walk in my room, say “whats up lil mama” and make my heart smile. Between the Texans games on Sundays, our little country concert sessions, to me dressing in a T-Rex costume and almost giving you a heart attack… (which is still one of my favorite memories to this day)….thank you for doing you!!

Josh…Hurricane Katrina blew you right in to my life. You’ve been taking care of me for about, what….6 years now? It feels like you’ve been taking care of me from the beginning. We all need a little cajun in our lives every now and then 😉 And I’m happy I have somebody to share a love for LSU like I do! I’m so thankful that you and your family are a part of my life.

Ashley…You are one of the goofiest, unfiltered, loyal, and caring people I know. I didn’t expect us to grow as close as we have but I’m so glad we did! You’ve basically become my big sister. I can’t wait for that little girl to be born because “Aunt Brookie” has big plans in store for her!!.

There’s so many other people that I could just go on and on about. Can’t leave out my favorite night RT, Debra. You’ve been here since day one, thank you for always making me laugh. William, you have the gift for crocheting blankets, but an even bigger gift encouraging me to “BLOW, BLOW, BLOW, BLOW”. Charles aka “Hippo Thumper”, I don’t think that stuffed hippo ever caught a break. To all the other heroes who share my fight…Dr. Oermann, Dr. Hiatt, Dr. Moonnumakul, Marriama, Abby, Lana, Liz, Beth, Katie, Sandy, Rachel, Tosha, Peggy, and many more, thank you for taking such good care of me.

Throughout all the years, each and every one of you through your dedication and love inspire me to press on in the fight to beat this disease. When you walk in my room I don’t see you as a nurse, a PCA, a doctor, or an RT… I see all of you as family.

I love each of you dearly!!

May 11, 2017 0 comment
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Goodbye 2016…. Hello 2017!!

Goodbye to a year of ups, a few downs, chock full of new experiences with new people in new places. Each of us are given, dealt if you will, a unique hand to live in this life. We are hopeful this hand is full of happiness, full of laughter, and full of love. We want to be a part of something great, to belong, and at all times be right where we are supposed to be. If this past year has taught me anything, on this drive we call life….somebody else is behind the wheel. More than once this past year I found myself traveling down roads not on “my” GPS. Rarely did things go as planned and many times those things I reached for, well…they were simply out of reach. Through it all, through every twist and turn, there’s been moments of joy, happiness, sorrow, and love.

The people and places, too many to detail. Meeting Mr. Larry, Tim, Ms. Connie, Mr. Ken, Mr. Edwin, Carson, Mr. Jeff and Ms. Michelle. And who could forget the ladies from Sigma Gamma Phi Sorority at SUNY in Potsdam, NY. Meeting KD, traveling across the United States, Victoria’s passing, having one of the hardest years health wise, spending 5 days hunting and hanging out with Jackie Bushman, meeting the Busbice and Landry Families, and to signing a contract with a modeling agency…oh yea, and the prospect of college :-o! What a crazy year overflowing with wonderful experiences and memories for a lifetime.

I’m thankful for every road I traveled this past year. A few of them were truly fast lanes, others were pretty slow. Some of the highways were straight, while others were windy. The weather was sometimes cloudy with rain, other days it was bright and sunny. There were some roads covered with ice, treacherous they were. Oh, but then…there were the Sunday drives! Laid back, calm and collected, peaceful and without hurry. Those being the best. Reflecting back now, something has occurred to me, a discovery of sorts. Along every road, the scenery was beautiful. The circumstance of travel was different yes, but the scenery along the way beautiful. It was as if every road was uniquely and specifically prescribed, all uniquely woven together by the common thread of beauty. That beauty found in our Creator, our God. In this discovery I can’t help but find myself thanking the Lord for this map of life. Thanking him for the beauty of the drive. Thanking him for the journey that lies ahead.

May the difficult times make us stronger. May we experience growth as individuals. May we continue to experience things we never thought possible. May we make the most of the roads we travel, see the beauty of the whole journey, and trust in the destination HE has made possible.

Hello 2017….can’t wait to see what’s around the bend!

December 31, 2016 1 comment
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“And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
And I’ll rise up
High like the waves
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again”

I love how inspiring and motivational the lyrics are to this song. It perfectly describes what I have told myself here lately….

Well, as most of you know…. I’m back at Texas Children’s. I’ve been known to throw the DR’s some curve balls and this time is no different. When I was discharged from my earlier hospital admission, I went home on a week’s worth of home IVs. Everything seemed to be going okay but I just didn’t seem to get better. That following Monday I had a clinic follow-up with Dr. Hiatt to check PFT’s. We were shocked to find out the percentages dropped, and it wasn’t just a small drop. They were the lowest percentages I’ve ever had. We talked with Dr. Hiatt and decided to send my cultures off to get tested for resistance to a new IV antibiotic for Pseudomonas. With that, he also suggested we do a bronchoscopy. He wanted to see if there was any mucus down deep in my lungs that would provide a better specimen for culture. He also wanted me to be off the IV’s for a week just to give my body a rest before we started all over again. I came back the following Thursday for a CT-scan and another PFT…. and the numbers dropped more. I won’t lie, it was kind of scary. Especially when there’s no idea what is actually causing the drop….

Following those PFT’s he was afraid to keep me out any longer, so “back in” we were. The following Tuesday I had my bronchoscopy. It all went very well. He said there was not near as much mucus in my lungs as he thought there would be. He was able to get very good cultures from both lungs and was also able to rinse some of the mucus secretions that were built up. I felt good when I woke from the bronchoscopy. Seemed like everything was still normal, but later that night, it slowly went a little down hill. I started running a 101.8 fever from the bronchoscopy later that night (the doctors had warned us that could happen). Though not uncommon to happen after a bronchoscopy, the doctors decided to do blood cultures just to make sure my PICC line wasn’t infected or it wasn’t viral fever. Come 3AM I was finally able to get some sleep. But when I woke up, the fevers were still there. My oxygen level started averaging 87-88% so they put me on supplemental oxygen. I know that is not un-common for CF patients, but for me it was. I have never had to be on oxygen before.

Several rough days passed of high fevers and low oxygen. I felt drained. My lungs felt fine, but it was like my body was telling me otherwise. It’s kind of scary to think about….how you can be completely fine one day, something changes, and just like that things are drastically sliding away. The blood cultures came back showing nothing. They did a chest X-ray and it showed some fluid in both of my lungs. The thought was the fluid was left over from my bronchoscopy. We are now doing chest PT (strong physical hand clapping on my back) to help remove the fluid. Yesterday the fever went away and my oxygen has gone back to averaging around 94-95%. My sputum cultures came back and I’m no longer growing Pseudomonas. Which is great! But now the important question…. what’s causing all of this to happen?

Thursday we had a visit from the infectious disease doctors. Turns out my cultures came back growing yeast. Which is common for Fungi, but they can’t identify what kind yet. Fungi takes longer to grow in cultures, but we’re hoping it comes back sooner than we are expecting. I am now on an anti-fungal medication. It does not cover all fungi, but it does cover a fungus called Trichosporon, which I grew about 6 years back. So, if this is what I’m growing now, at least I’m on a medication that covers it. Basically….it’s a waiting game and we’re taking it one day at a time.

I want to thank all of you for the prayers and kind words, especially these past few days. The “water” is a little green (that analogy is for those of you watching the Olympics) at the moment. For those who haven’t tuned in to Rio….TROUBLING is the word. But my life has always proved out that troubling times lead to some of my most beautiful times. I don’t know what’s going to happen exactly next. Where are we headed? Don’t have a clue. But this I do know….His Word and my faith tell me it’s all going to be okay. God makes no mistakes and His purpose is in it all. I trust that. I know that I’ll rise up, I’ll persevere, and I’ll beat this. About a month ago, Craig Sager won the Jimmy V Award for perseverance. During his speech, he said something that really touched my heart:

“I see the beauty in others, and I see the hope for tomorrow. If we don’t have hope and faith, we have nothing. I will never give up, and I will never give in. I will continue to keep fighting, sucking the marrow out of life, as life sucks the marrow out of me. I will live my life full of love and full of fun. It’s the only way I know how.”

This circumstance is just another opportunity for greatness in life. This day I choose joy, love, and peace. We will come out of this stronger than ever!!

Everyone have an amazing day and remember…. just keep breathin’

August 13, 2016 4 comments
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Dateline…. 14th Floor TCH….

Hey everyone!

Wow, it has been a crazy past few months. I’ll start working a little harder at posting more frequently. With graduation, the cruise, and my feeling a bit under the weather, it’s been tough to find time to write and get one posted.

I am currently in the hospital right now. At the beginning of June I caught a virus and began feeling icky. Dr. Hiatt prescribed oral antibiotics, but I never did get back to feeling 100%. I had a follow-up appointment about 2 weeks ago and my PFT’s weren’t very good. Not the worst they’ve ever been, but not good for sure. AND……I had lost over 15 pounds… yikes! Not a good appointment…..so here I am.

Tomorrow will be in-patient day 12 and I’m feeling much better. So far I’ve gained over 8 pounds, only seven more to go. Woohoo! I did PFT’s Wednesday and there was no change compared to last Friday where they increased by 18%. Pulmonary function will be repeated again Monday and we’re hoping the extra days will result in more weight and PFT increases. The goal is to go home Monday if all is good. Prayers would be greatly appreciated. 🙂 I am definitely ready to be home.

There have been some crazy opportunities coming my way, super cool!! They are all so great, they each deserve a completely separate post….which I am working on….and will hopefully have up by this weekend. Thank you for the thoughts and prayers while I have been in. They’re always greatly appreciated and mean more than you could possibly know.

Talk to y’all soon, and remember…..just keep breathin!

Brooke

July 22, 2016 1 comment
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Hey everyone!

So much has happened since I posted last month. I will soon be making another blog to share more about it with you guys, so be on the look out. Until then… I wanted to share a video with you. Back in January when everything happened with KD, my story reached the Sigma Gamma Phi sorority at SUNY in Potsdam, New York. Their sorority philanthropy is CF and they reached out to me asking if I would speak at their CF banquet they were having in April. Unfortunately I was unable to attend, but they asked me to make a video. May is CF Awareness month and I know it’s a little early, but I wanted to share this with you. I Hope it will bring more CF education, and help people understand the reality of my disease.

Also, I have some very exciting news! We have a team that will be participating in the CFF Great Strides walk on May 7th in Houston, TX. Please feel free to join my team or possibly donate to help us reach our goal if you’d like! To do so, go to www.cff.org/greatstrides click on find a walk/team and search Brooke’s Crew to find a Cure. Or I have a link attached to my FB page if you would like to try that also.

Until next time…

Brooke

April 19, 2016 0 comment
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This is one of the hardest days of my life. No words can describe this pain and honestly it doesn’t feel real. I hate Cystic Fibrosis. It’s days like today that make me hate it even more.

You came into my life at a time when I had no one who fully understood what I was going through. We met almost 11 years ago. I was 7, you were 8. At that age, dealing with CF was difficult. It’s always difficult. It’s never easy, but at that age you are still trying to fully understand what’s happening. Why it’s happening. When we met I knew I had somebody who truly understood how I felt inside; All of the confusion, all of the anger, and all of the pain. Ever since that day we never left each other’s side. You were the person I could confide in. You were the person who made it easier. There was laughter, and there were tears. Like your graduation quote said.. “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.” We were there for each other during the good times, and the darkest of times. There were times when I wanted to give up. There were times when you wanted to give up, but we pushed each other. We learned to fight and we fought together. We knew that no matter what happened we had each other.

I’m thankful for all the years to have you by my side. I’m thankful for all of the nights we would Skype until the sun came up because we couldn’t have sleepovers. I remember all of the holidays we spent together in the hospital and those we had to celebrate over video chat because we had to follow the “6 foot rule” even though we broke that rule more than we should have. I remember ringing in the New Years with you by watching the fireworks through Skype like it was just yesterday even if we were 100s of miles apart. I remember all of the days we would give the nurses a run for their money, all the pranks we would play on Arthur, and all of the water syringe fights. I remember the million of times we would beg Cami to braid our hair… although that didn’t take much convincing. I remember filling medical gloves up with water in the family lounge and freezing them to make a frozen glove, only to laugh at it and then throw it in the sink to melt. I remember spraying the old sanitizing foam on the floors so we could slide down the halls in our socks. I’m pretty sure half of the rules on the 14th floor were made because of us. But just like you told Arthur last time we were on 14, we were the original squad goals.

Having CF requires one to grow up early. Facing things in life kids our age should never have to face. We talked about the good and the bad parts of CF. And we promised that if that day came, this day…..it wouldn’t be a goodbye. It would be a see you later. The last time I came to see you in the hospital, when I went to leave, you looked at me, smiled, and you told me “See you next time.” So no matter how hard this is, I know that the love and friendship we shared can never be taken away. The bond we had could never be broken. No matter how much it may seem so, I know this isn’t goodbye. You will forever hold a special place in my heart and I will never forget all of the special moments we shared together. You were the most inspiring person I have ever met. You lived life with everything you had. You were taken too soon, but you didn’t go out without a fight. I know you are in a better place. You were my best friend, and you gave me a purpose to fight. You give us all a purpose to fight. So I’m now also fighting for you baby girl. I hope you’re enjoying that new set of lungs. You deserve them. I love you Toria. I’ll see you again soon.

March 13, 2016 5 comments
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Hey everyone!

Since this is my first blog I wanted to make it special. What better topic for my first blog than the power of social media and KD.

I’m a senior in high school, about to be 18, and finally leaping out into the world of “Adulthood” (by the way guys, not as fun as we made it out to be when we were 12).  This is the point in life where I need to decide my future.  There are so many things I can choose to do.  While this is all very exciting, it is equally nerve racking.  What if I pick the wrong thing? What if I choose something I’m not good at?  What if I don’t love to do what I chose? Those are all questions that go through my mind as I’m wondering where God is going to take me in this new journey of my life.  I’ve thought about enrolling in culinary school, after all, I’m a pretty good cook.  I would enjoy being a chef or owning my own restaurant.   What about journalism? I’ve always had a love for writing.  I’m amazed by how people can be inspired through stories and words.  Ultimately, whatever I choose to do, I want to make a difference in this life. To do something that will inspire people. I want people to understand that despite obstacles and difficulties, they can still achieve their dreams.  No circumstance can overcome the will to make a difference.

For me, my circumstance is Cystic Fibrosis (CF)…..

CF has radically influenced my life.  It has shaped me into the person I am today.  I have learned in a very real and personal way how precious and valuable life is.  I have experienced difficult times, uncertain times, and times when I want to give up.  My faith teaches me that it’s times like these, in the midst of weakness, when God really shows out.  The pain and hard times can be used as fuel to persevere and fight.  From the darkest times, beautiful moments emerge.  Life is precious and never to be taken for granted.  Coming to terms with these truths, I decided to take the fight to CF.  I decided to raise as much money as possible.  I decided to work hard to find a cure.  I would do this for those who have lost the fight, for my friends, and the 30,000 others in the United States and around the world who are still fighting. Those who live daily with CF.  For those who know what it is like to take over 48+ pills a day, do over 2 hours of treatments, and consume over 3,000 calories a day to maintain body weight.  The bitter reality is that we can do everything the doctors require, but CF remains chronic. There is no cure.  BUT….I believe together we can make a difference!

So…..what does this have to do with social media and KD?

Deciding to fight back, I began to think of ways one girl, from a small town in Texas, could make a difference.  About mid-February of 2014, Kevin Durant released a Nike shoe dedicated to his Aunt Pearl who battled breast cancer.  I saw how much awareness and support it gained and immediately I thought about releasing a shoe for Cystic Fibrosis. How could I make that happen?  I tried a couple of different ways, but they just didn’t work out.  Then, about a month ago, a very close friend of our family decided to bring my idea to Facebook.  We were thinking it might attract 100 shares.  Of course anything beyond that would amazing.  We never really imagined Kevin Durant would see it.  Then, literally in seconds, the amount of likes and shares soared past 100.  The post got over 250,000 shares in just 3 days!  I couldn’t believe it.  Messages poured in from people all over the world. They wanted to know how they could help.  Some have CF.  Some know or have lost someone special in their life that suffered from CF.  The stories were unbelievable.  The love and support meant more to me than anyone could possibly imagine.  Three nights into the FB post, while I was laying in my hospital bed watching TV, my cell phone started blowing up.  I had messages from my friends and family that read “KD SAW YOUR POST!” “BROOKE, IT MADE IT’S WAY TO KD!”. My first thought…  There is no way!  It had only been 3 days and he’s such a busy guy.  There is no way he would have seen it.  When I checked it out for myself, sure enough it was real.  He saw my story.  But not only did he see my story, he directed a response back to me!  On Facebook and Instagram he posted a picture holding up a pair of his shoes saying “Hey Brooke – I’m wearing these shoes tonight and will sign and send them to you after the game. You’re an inspiration!  Keep up the fight against CF!!”  Of course, being the huge KD fan I am, my first reaction was to freak out.  Kevin Durant, one of the greatest basketball players in the NBA knows who I am.  He saw my post and he reached out to me.  Who wouldn’t be excited about that?!  Some people commented saying “That’s not what she was asking for…” or “She asked to collaborate with you to design a shoe…”  Indeed, my idea was to collaborate with him to design a shoe, but the goal was to bring attention to CF.  What he did made my idea come true.  It was never about the shoes, it was about greater awareness and education of CF.  KD’s actions resulted in hundreds of thousands of people all over the world hearing, reading, or seeing the letters “CF”.  That’s all I ever wanted, and he did it!  Make no mistake, this is not the end of the fight, only the beginning.  I have so much more to do.  I will not stop until we find a cure.  This is only round one of the fight and I am very grateful KD took time to be involved.

I want to thank those who liked, shared, commented, and supported my story.  Each of you have a special place in my heart.  Thank you for being a part of this journey.  I can’t wait to see where it takes us.  Let’s continue together in hope and joy, looking eagerly for what’s around the next curve. 🙂

Til’ next time…..

Brooke

February 17, 2016 5 comments
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