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Research Takes Patients to Great Heights

Isabel Stenzel Byrnes

“I went up to 11,000 feet where I was
breathing just fine!!! I feel so grateful
for all the researchers who have indirectly
allowed me to reach such extraordinary
highs—literally and figuratively—in my life.”

Isabel Stenzel Byrnes, 44, has cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis patients can experience a thick buildup of mucus in the lungs that clogs airways, creates a breeding ground for bacteria, and causes extensive lung damage. Twelve years ago, Isabel received a double-lung transplant.

Today, Isabel is an author, a hiker, a swimmer, a patient-advocate, and a hospice bereavement counselor.

She praises the scientists whose discoveries have kept her alive, undaunted by the lack of a cure. She credits participating in a clinical trial for a drug that helps clear mucus in the lungs with giving her “10 extra quality-of-life years.” She is currently enrolled in two research studies.

“Research has something going for all us,” says Isabel, “not just people like me who have a rare disease.”

Thank you, Isabel, for sharing your story!

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