This moment for parents of a Cystic Fibrosis warrior has become a reality as the decades tick by. With the advancements in Cystic Fibrosis research and biochemistry, patients are living longer and longer lives. While CF’ers are outliving their pediatric care, adulthood presents it’s own set of problems. We’re faced having to provide for ourselves and be completely in charge of our own care.
The first thing that we need to provide our Cystic Fibrosis patients is knowledge. Education is imperative in today’s world and being able to get through school is a challenge all on it’s own. Grants are available from many organizations that will help with the cost of funding College/University education for our patients. But what happens next?
Financial options outside of CF-specific grants can be accessed via the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) but of course that doesn’t always mean that you will be giving free money. The Federal Pell Grant is however, is exactly that… free money. It does not have to be repaid. Other types of aid involve subsidized and unsubsidized loans, which do have to be repaid. Students are eligible for a grace period while they are attending school that allows you to start repayment after you leave college or drop below half-time. Of course there are other ways to get money, via scholarships and other grants, for school that you can and should continuously apply for. So while you can start with a loan, those scholarships and grants can help reduce the amount you have to repay. The options are out there, but parents and patients looking to go through all of this need to educate themselves thoroughly on the process. That’s where we can help.
Appreciate Every Breath Foundation™ can pair patients and their partners/parents with career coaches that can walk you through all the options available to you. With that, they can also help patients fit into careers that will have good health care benefits, allow for self-care, have flexibility in schedules and locations, and be better apt to work WITH Cystic Fibrosis. And Appreciate Every Breath Foundation™ works hard within Corporate America to create opportunities for people like our patients, and frankly any American that lives with a complex chronic illness.
Our patients have to come to some hard realities, as our founder did. Maria went to school to become an archaeologist, most specifically an Egyptologist. That’s not a career that is conducive to self-care and benefits the body that she was born with. Archaeology requires extensive travel to foreign countries, harsh conditions at dig sites with temperatures that can vary drastically, a enumerable amount of physical exertion, and no real access to medical care in cases of emergencies. She had to pivot from her educational path to something that would allow her more time and flexibility to be able to do her treatments, be on IV antibiotic regiments, and have access to her CF Clinic and doctors/staff. There are careers out there that we simply cannot do. A career coach will be invaluable in helping to identify the right path for our patients given their complex health statuses.
Our coaches come from all walks of life and have been part of Corporate America for many decades. We have coaches that represent almost every field out there that would be of great benefit to our patients. From Human Resources to Social Media Marketing to Education… we have someone for everyone.
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