Dow Family 2009
Dow Family 2010

My name is Todd and my daughter Katie has Cystic Fibrosis. My wife Julie and I learned of this diagnosis on Tuesday September 30 2008 when Katie was 17 months of age. Julie knew before I did – mother’s intuition, I guess. I lived in denial until the medical diagnosis had been delivered to us on that fateful day.

Katie’s older brother, Noah – three and a half years old at the time that she was diagnosed – understands that Katie has CF, but he doesn’t yet grasp the full impact of what this means for our family.

About a year after Katie’s diagnosis, and, after much debate, we decided to have a third child – in spite of the 1 in 4 chance that our child would have CF. Riley was born on June 1 2010 and after some testing, he was found to be CF-free.

Our family has changed since that late September day. This blog is a chronicle of these changes. Not sure where this conversation will go yet. As with everything in the future, only time will tell.

We live in Beamsville, which is a small town in the Niagara region of Ontario, Canada. We live an hour south of Toronto and we are halfway between Hamilton (we go for clinic visits at McMaster hospital in Hamilton) and St Catharines (we are members of the Hamilton and St Catharines CF chapters).

We’ve aptly titled this blog, “Breathing as a family”, as CF doesn’t only affect Katie – it affects all of us as a family. And, as a family, we have learned, and will continue to learn, how to live with this disease together.

We invite you to share this journey with us. Our goals for this blog are fourfold. It provides a place for:

  1. us to share our hopes, joys, celebrations, frustrations, sadness and everything in between;
  2. our family and friends to keep up to date on what’s going on with us;
  3. others to share and learn – especially other families that are living with Cystic Fibrosis; and
  4. raising awareness, fundraising and building community;

So please, visit often. Feel free to comment and share in the discussion.

Thanks for visiting and talk soon!

Todd, Julie, Noah, Katie & Riley

4 thoughts on “About Us

  1. This year, May 14, 2012, our second grandson was born. We were elated! Less than 24 hours later he was rushed to Sick Kids in London where he had surgery for a blockage in his colon. He spent 10 days in the intensive neo natal unit there but finally came home. We thought he’s a fighter and all will be well. There were still issues with his bowel movements and he wasn’t gaining weight. Constant contact with doctors, nurses. All sure it would just take more time … Three weeks later we learned he had been diagnosed with CF. We really knew nothing about the disease but what we did know was scary and we were devastated. As time has gone by we have of course learned so much more and through sites and blogs like this we relate to everything our little “Nate the Great” will be going through. We are aware of many of the issues you discuss in your blog. Our journey is just beginning. Thank you for all your positive and realistic information you are passing along. God bless you and your family and especially Katie.

    1. Eria and Steffan, thank you for your note. Congrats on the birth of your second grandson. Definitely an exciting time. A CF diagnosis, or any health complications, with a child is not a good time. We have heard numerous stories from our friends in the CF community about their struggles. But have hope. Huge advances have been made in CF care and we are optimistic that a cure or an effective control will be available in time to help Katie and the other children that desperately need a cure.

      Stay strong, celebrate life and do what you can to get involved, supporting CF Canada and their focus on helping make CF mean cure found.

      Feel free to send us a note at any time if you need more info. And be sure to keep a close relationship with your local CF chapter and the medical team responsible for Nate’s care. You’ll find a dedicated, knowledgable and supportive community that will help you through the highs and lows of CF.

      Thanks again for the note and talk soon!

      Todd

  2. Todd & Katie,
    I came across your blog. My husband Chad has CF. He is almost 38 years old and doing well. We have three biological children…although none of them have cf, they are all carriers of the gene. I don’t normally reply on someone’s blog, but just wanted to tell you thank you for sharing your story and for all that you are also doing as a family to support finding a cure for cystic fibrosis.
    ~Heidi (Omaha, Nebraska)

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