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Relationships: Mairi and Steve

When did you two meet and when did you tell your partner that you had CF?

We met when we were at school. We were friends first and so he knew that I had some health issues. We started dating at the beginning of Year 12. It was only once we started dating that he learnt that I had CF and began to understand what this involved.

What about with work? Do you tell them about CF?

I am a teacher and initially I was offered a one term contract. As it was only for one term I did not tell them about my CF. When they then extended my contract, I told my principal so that he was aware I might need time off. Work have been very supportive and have always stressed the importance of keeping myself well. Just before the wedding I had just had IVs but was still not feeling the best. Work gave me an extra week off before the wedding, so I could be well, in addition to the two weeks they had already given me.

Has having CF impacted on the way you have gone into this relationship?

We started dating when we were 16 so it was the first serious relationship for both of us. My family have always made my health a priority and so right from the start Steve saw that it was imperative that I stick to my daily routine and treatment.

Did you worry about meeting your partner’s parents and how your they would react when they found out you had CF?

Steve’s parents were very understanding. I think they were a little surprised how serious CF can be as I always look so healthy. Steven’s mum became a passionate supporter of CF. She arranged bingo nights and was on the ball committee for a number of years.

What was your wedding day like?

It was magical! We were married in Bali, on a cliff top overlooking the ocean, at sunset. 88 of our family and friends joined us for an amazing day! We were surrounded by so much love and danced the night away!

What plans do you have for the future?

We have just bought a house together and are living away from home for the first time. Learning to cook is our top priority at the moment! We have bought a house near to my parents so that they can support me when I need IVs.

Any advice for balancing CF and relationships for other couples and others seeking a partner?

From the outset, they should know that CF treatment is very time consuming. In order to keep as well as possible, they need to know that the daily routine of physio and exercise is something that will not be comprised. They also need to understand that medication, physio and hospital visits will be a part of your life forever. However, CF has not stopped us doing anything. We have travelled the world together, you just need to be a little extra organised.

 

Article from RED Magazine, Autumn 2013.


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