DRAW MY LIFE – CYSTIC FIBROSIS LOVE STORY


We are the Frey´s and this is… It all began in 1988… …and 1989… when we were born. Mary: I was born with a genetic lung disease called Cystic fibrosis. My sister and I both have CF which means our lungs are weak and our bodies are constantly fighting infection. Our childhood was filled countless pills, hours of therapy and frequent trips to the hospital. Our parents showed us that we are loved and God made us just as we are. Although CF is hard God has taught me through the years to find faith and joy in him. Peter and I grow up in the same town and our families knew each other from church. We even visited each others houses on occation. Peter: In high school youth group we started getting to know each other better. We hung out a few times a week and at church and administries we were involved in together. Although I went to public high school… Mary:..and I was home schooled we still got to built our friendship outside of school. Peter: In the summer 2005 we were scheduled to go on a church trip to Myrtle beach, South Carolina. I was assigned to teach a group of children and guess who was placed as my co-teacher? The one and only Mary! Mary: It was very convenient that we needed to spent time planning our lessons together and preparing for each day´s activities. It was a great time to built our friendship and to get to know each other in a deeper way. Peter: The trip went great. The lessons were a blast and I think as teacher… Mary:…and co-teacher Peter:…we worked out. Mary: We fondly call that summer: Both: The summer of love. Peter: After that summer we continued getting to know one another and although we don´t have a date we officially became a couple we knew that after July 2005 we would always be a team. Mary: We dated all through Peter´s last year of high school and then he went off to college. We dated long distance through his first year of college and then I got accepted to the same college and joined him the following year. August of 2007. Peter: Being in the same state was amazing. Being in the same town was awesome. And being on the same college campus was wonderful. We enjoyed walking the streets of Chicago finally hand in hand after a long year apart. Mary: We loved our years in downtown Chicago and we concider Chicago one of the many places we call HOME. After college Peter started his master devinity degree near Boston. Peter: I moved there in May 2010. Mary was still finishing her last semester in Chicago. So our engagement was long distance. That time was difficult but it made our reunion sweet and marriage even sweeter. On January 8th 2011 we gathered with many friends and family to celebrate what God has done in bringing our lives and hearts together as one. Mary: That was a really fun day! We enjoyed celebrating the beginning of our marriage and we continue to celebrate 4 years later. Peter: A few months into our marriage we got a call. Mary: It was a call from my sister letting us know she was going into surgery for her douple lung transplant. Peter and I booked the last flight at the night from Boston to Baltimore. We arrived in time to see Rachel before they wheeled her back. And then we waited. After about 8 hours she came out with her beautiful new lungs. Peter: As we walked through those days we saw God at work as all the details came together. The biggest way we knew God was working was the peace that Rachel and her husband Jonathan felt going into the transplant. Here we are 4 years later and whenever we get to see Rachel we see how her new lungs give her the ability to breath well and live life each day to the fullest. We will forever be grateful to Jimmy, her donor! During the first two years of marriage we moved quite a lot which gave us some crazy fun life experience. While I was in seminary studying to be a pastor Mary and I had quite a few jobs we did to pay the bills. Mary: I found a few great families to babysit for… Peter:..and I worked at a cafe, catered weddings, electronically welded tracking devices for construction equipment – yeah, that was a weird job!- and I had the amazing opportunity to preach at churches all around New England. During those years in seminary we fell in love with our hobby of finding free things like computers and furniture on Craigslist, fixing them up and selling them. Inbetween working, church and life as newly weds I was attending classes, writing papers and enjoying every moment of my training for ministry. Mary: I stopped working because my health started declining and required more hours of care each day. My new fulltime job became taking care of my lungs. Peter: In August 2012 we got a call from my Mum. Dad had collapsed and was taken to the hospital. At that point we had no idea what was going on. Mary and I got in the car and began driving from Bosten to Maryland. Mary: The thoughts going through our minds were endless and scary but we kept our eyes on the road and prayed for peace. Peter: We arrived late that night and got to see Dad in ICU. In the days that followed we learned that Dad had an aggressive form of cancer. It had spread throughout his body. We stayed in Maryland for the next few months supporting my family as Dad began chemo and radiation. Although these days were one of the hardest we have so many good memories of being together with all my siblings and seeing Dad smile. My Dad´s battle with cancer was only 10 short weeks. We miss him and his presence in our lifes with each day that passes. Thankfully, we know that he is fully healed now and we take comfort in that but it doesn´t take away the hurt. After those few months in Maryland that felt like a whirlwind we made our way back to Boston to resume my studies and readjust to life in Boston. Mary: As we watched my health decining we started talking about how we will handle each step of the CF journey. More meds, more therapy more hospital stays. As we talked and researched we decided a good next step in my treatment plan would be a Service Dog. Peter: In April 2013 our journey began. Mary: We picked up Oliver James a standart poodle who would spent the next 2 years in training learning to be my muscles and my lungs. When his training is complete he will be by my side through daily life bracing by me for me to hold onto in hard coughing fits. Carrying groceries in a backpack, alerting me when my blood sugar drops, bringing me my meds and running to get someone when I need help. Peter: When we brought Oliver into our home we had no idea that we would have to say goodbye for almost a year. Mary: In August of 2014 Oliver went to Chicago to continue his training while we flew across the ocean to spent the year in Scotland. Peter: I recieved a grant to do research at the University of Edinburgh and continue my training to be a pastor. On August 25th we boarded a plane for Scotland and for the first time started documenting our daily life on YouTube. Mary: We spent all of September, October, November, December and part of January in Scotland. It was an incredible experience seeing old buildings, castles and a whole new part of the world. After those months away from the States my lungs were struggling and it was clear that we needed to come back to the States to be admitted in the hospital and take care of my lungs. I spent a month in the hospital doing lots of IVs and physical therapy to clear my lungs. It was the longest amount of time I´ve ever had to stay in the hospital. But the Lord gave us the grace we needed to get through it. Peter: We don´t know what the next few months and years will look like. But we know that God will guide us giving us the strength and joy we need for each step of the journey. Mary: We are so are so thankful that he has given us each other to walk through life´s ups and downs together. Peter: This is our story which has come to be known as: Both: The Frey Life

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