This month, I interview SarahAnn Dozier, a woman who is diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. Here’s what she had to say:
1. Can you give me some information on cystic fibrosis for those unfamiliar with it?
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a genetic illness. It is estimated that about 1 in 25 Caucasians are carriers of the gene. If two carriers have a child, there is a 1 and 4 chance that their child could get it. There are hundreds of different cf genes and it affects more than just whites. It is caused by the faulty transfer of salt in the body that is caused by a missing set of base pairs on Chromosome 7. This faulty transfer causes mucus to be thicker than it is supposed to be, which leads to breathing problems, digestive problems, and sinus problems. There is even a type of CF related diabetes.
2. One of the reasons pro-choice advocates give for keeping abortion legal is that people who are born with disorders (like yourself) lead miserable lives. How do you respond to this claim?
I lead a very happy life. My live isn’t always perfect, but it is far from miserable. I have a husband and a daughter and my parents and brothers and friends. I might get sick more than other people, but that doesn’t make me miserable. I have seen friends die from the same illness I have, but that doesn’t stop me from pressing on in my own life. I walk in the Great Strides Walk (the cf walk) to help others have a better life.
3. How long have you been a Christian?
I have been a Christian since I was a child. I decided to follow Jesus at a very young age.
4. Tell me about your childhood.
My childhood wasn’t anything special. My dad was military, but we lived in Arizona for about 7 years, from when I was 3 to just before 10, so we weren’t a moving family. We moved to Georgia when he retired a few months before my 10th birthday and I have lived here since. I have three brothers. They weren’t very nice when I was growing up. I didn’t even really realize that I went in the hospital more than other children until I was a little older. There were always other children in the hospital when I went in and my younger brother had a hospital stay when he was 3 for a hernia operation. I spent my time riding my bike and playing on the playground. My mom was very strict, though. She didn’t let me go over to friend’s houses until I was a teenager. She had been told that exercise was bad for me, but now they know it actually improves the lungs. The life expectancy when I was born was about 5, then it moved to 12. When I was 18, it moved to 30. Now the life expectancy is about 35. I am 34, but I am sure I have many years left if the kingdom doesn’t come first. Middle school was rough because I was picked on over my clothes. High school was better. I am a quiet person and I am unsure how to talk to others, so I didn’t have many friends. The few I did have were close and I still keep in contact with them even today.
5. Is there anyone in your life who inspires you to be a better person?
Other than Jesus? 🙂 My dad has inspired me. We didn’t have much money. We were a family of 6. When my dad retired, it was hard for him to find a job. He worked a job that was three hours away and would drive back on the weekends for a while. He delivered pizzas in his spare time to make sure was had food. My brothers caused a lot of trouble and even ended up in trouble with the law. He did what he could to keep us together as a family and to keep up fed and clothed.
6. Tell me about your child, Rane.
Rane is my miracle baby. My husband and I had been wanted a child and trying for almost two years. One night, I was woken up and started praying. I was thinking of Hannah, who prayed for a child. I prayed God would give us a little girl. I said we would dedicate ourselves to raising her to know Him and to love Him. About a week later, I went into the hospital with pneumonia and I forgot about that prayer. A few weeks after I got out of the hospital, we discovered I was pregnant. I was considered a high risk pregnancy because of my cf, but we had a healthy baby girl, just like I had prayed for. She does not have cf, but she is a carrier. They said I had soft marker for downs syndrome during my pregnancy and wanted to do an amnio to test. We told them no. This was our little girl and nothing was going to change that. I did not have a good feeling about the amnio, anyway. She just turned two and she is amazing me everyday. She had been meeting almost every milestone early, with the exception of walking. She is a blessing.
7. Who is your favorite Biblical figure besides Jesus? I don’t really have a favorite figure.
I like Ruth and Hannah and Sarah, but I also like David and Luke and Paul and Elijah. There is just so much you can get from studying the different characters, I can’t pick just one.
8. What is your current job?
I currently tutor math at Sylvan Learning Center. I tutor elementary through high school. I have a b.s. in Mathematics and I have been certified in secondary education, but I was getting sick too much working full time, so now I tutor.
9. What is your favorite Bible passage and why?
I have several, but one of my favorites is when Hannah was praying for a child. She was so deep in prayer that she was thought to be drunk. She trusted God so much that after Samuel was weaned, she dedicated him over to the church. The thought of being able to give up the child that you desired so much to be raised by another, even if it was a man of God, shows so much trust in God that it inspires me.
10. What would you say to others who are suffering from conditions similar
Life can be tough sometimes. Sometimes you get sick and there isn’t much you can do about it other than take your meds and do what the doctor tells you. Throughout it all, keep your eyes and trust on Jesus. God takes care of the sparrow, He will take care of you.