Cystic Fibrosis ‘Won’t Define Me’


I was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis when
I was five years old. I have this disease, but it’s not going to
be who I am. It’s not going to define me. My name is Taylor MacLean. I am 24 years old. I am currently at Kean University earning
my doctorate degree in Clinical and School Psychology. Cystic Fibrosis is a disease that impacts
your lungs and your digestive system. And it’s just hard because, it does damage
your lungs, so eventually parts of your lungs will get infected and
eventually decay. My goal is to have my own private practice
and help children with chronic illnesses and be a health psychologist for them. I’ve always had a lot of people supporting
me, like doctors, social workers, my parents,
my family. So I’ve always wanted to give back to the
community in some way. I found out about the AbbVie Scholarship from
one of the social workers at my doctor’s office, and they told me that I should apply, so I
did. They called me, actually, while I was walking
into class here. And I just started crying on the phone because
I couldn’t believe that I actually won the big scholarship, which was for $25,000. And then I called both my parents, and they
cried too. It’s clear that she really cares about being
a part of this community and contributing to the lives of other people
who have struggled with the disease, and I think the scholarship has just afforded
her some new roles in which to do that important work. Outside of school, I’m pretty busy, so I do
behavioral therapy for a child with autism. I’m a school extern, so I do counseling with
children there, and I work with the school psychologist. And then I’m also involved in mentoring
college students with cystic fibrosis. What I hope to accomplish is to help people
kind of like I’ve been helped throughout my life. My mantra has definitely been to “just breathe,”
which is very appropriate for cystic fibrosis. I have good days and bad days,
and I think it’s important to remember that, that tomorrow is a new day.

Comments 2

  • Yet when my girlfriend who has Cystic Fibrosis went to Kean University, they cut her full ride (she earned) due to her not being able to have enough hours in a lab environment. Why did she miss that time? Because she was in the hospital due to the illness. This is despite her having had an A in the class and that her major didn't even have to do with Biology.

  • Taylor MacLean & Dr. Lerner for pres!!! 🙂

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