Facing Cystic Fibrosis Together – Lizbeth’s Perspective

Lizbeth on the left and Ivette on the right hugging each other.
Ivette on the left side, Lizbeth on the right holding a stuffed toy of pink lungs.

Lizbeth was first diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, a chronic condition with no cure, at just 11 months old. In 2021, as Lizbeth’s condition worsened, the two began traveling 350 miles from their home to the Bay Area to access lifesaving care her daughter depended on. During their latest stay, the family learned that Lizbeth would need a double-lung transplant.

What they thought would be a short stay turned into nearly a year away from family, friends, work, school, and the support system they relied on at home. Due to Lizbeth’s condition, doctors advised her to await her transplant as an in-patient, living inside the hospital. Her mother, Ivette, was housed at the Ronald McDonald House, minutes away from her daughter. Lizbeth shares her perspective on how RMHC Bay Area stood by them throughout her treatment, offering crucial support.

My name is Lizbeth. I’m an 18-year-old who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when I was 11 months old. My mom and I came to the Bay Area so I could receive a lung transplant. It has been a scary thing for both of us to go through. Do you want to know one of the things that helped me the most? It was knowing that my mom was taken care of. I know she was worried about me, but I worried about her too… a lot.

We had left our family behind in Los Angeles and didn’t know anyone beyond the doctors and nurses who were treating me. To be honest, we didn’t know what we needed, but I can tell you that when we first stepped into the Ronald McDonald House, we found so many people that have been by our side throughout it all. It was so much more than I could have imagined! I knew I would be an inpatient as I awaited my transplant, but knowing my mom had a safe space to go at the end of the day, made it much easier for us.

I’ve learned that it takes hundreds of people – volunteers, donors, and staff members – to make sure that families with sick kids, like me, are provided with what we need just when we need it most. As you get ready for the holidays, I want you to know how meaningful a gift to RMHC families can be 💝.

For me, it’s a relief knowing that the House exists. It meant I didn’t have to worry because my mom was staying just across the street from my hospital room and could get to me in minutes if I needed her. It meant that we both had a beautiful place to stay when I was able to leave the hospital for outpatient treatment.

Throughout the 330 days away from home, we were still together. We had meals together, listened to our favorite music like “Forever My Love”/ “Por Siempre Mi Amor”, and began to feel normal again.

It would make my year if you would consider donating to RMHC Bay Area to help give kids like me the relief of knowing their families are taken care of.

Listen to my mom share why “Forever My Love” is our favorite song