Somer Love’s passion for life leaps out from behind the computer screen. Seeing her posts pop up in my feed is always an instant mood lifter! Somer has a way with words that can express the reality of CF but remain upbeat and inspiring. Her desire to spread love and light in the world lead her to create ‘Love To Breathe’ tokens which she has sent to over 36 countries and every state of America. The tokens not only raise awareness for CF but also share the gifts of connection and kindness. Somer often shares photos of herself doing treatments and undertaking the daily duties of a CF patient which inspires other patients to be more involved and compliant with their care and reminds us all that way are together in our struggles! Her voice, passion and huge heart for supporting others on their journey are just a few of the things that make Somer a CF superhero!
If you need more Somer Love in your life after reading her interview you can find her on Instagram (@lovetobreathe), Facebook (FB/lovetobreathe) and on her website (www.lovetobreathe.com).
Somer tell us a bit about what having CF has meant for you?
Being diagnosed with CF at 11 months old I have never known any different. I am so fortunate to have fabulous parents who chose to help fight my disease. When I was old enough I adopted my parents philosophy and joined the fight. CF is inconvenient, CF is exhausting, and CF will never be easy. However, I believe CF has made me stronger, it makes me fight harder, love more, and truly appreciate life one breath at a time… CF is a blessing in an ugly disguise, it’s my reality and its made me who I am today, and for that I am grateful.
What does your daily CF superhero routine look like and how do you make sure you stick to it?
I am very compliant when it comes to my health, it’s my number one priority. I do 4 treatments a day try and fit some type of workout in which doesn’t necessarily always mean gym equipment.There are many different forms of airway clearance and because every patient is so different, each technique works differently for everyone. I use the PepMask, combined with “Somergenics” 😉 which is my own technique combining ‘Autogenic Drainage’ and ‘Active Cycle Breathing’. I basically take a variety of breaths at different levels in my lungs that moves the mucus up, so I can easily huff it out.There are so many components that come in to play when trying to stay as healthy as possible. I swear by good nutrition, a healthy diet, sinus rinses and all the different medications I take day in and day out. CF is a lot of work but I continue to give it my all because life is so worth it.
Beyond your treatments and medications what other things do you believe are important to staying well and being an empowered patient?
I believe it is so important to surround yourself with an amazing support system. CF is definitely something you can’t fight alone. Having a support system is so important when it comes to facing any battle no matter the size.I am blessed beyond measure to have the support system that I do…. From the medical staff, my CF team, my CF family, to all of you that follow my journey, my amazing friends, my wonderful family, and to the two that started it all and that have been with me every step of the way, my parents. My support system plays such a huge part in my life and continues to keep me going time and time again.
If you were stranded on a desert island which five treatments would you want to have with you?
Hmm that is a tough question…. I feel like all the medications all work so well together, and help complete this CF puzzle, But if I could only have 5 treatments and of course I’d have electricity and my nebulizer there so that doesn’t count. Ha ha.I would choose….1. Albuterol!! Aka All-Better-All 😉2. Sinus rinses!! Even tho I’d be loving that salty air. I do believe the ocean is healing in itself.3. Pulmozyme4.All my vitamins and supplements I’d say vitamin D but hopefully the sun should take care of that on that tropical island.5.And lastly an inhaled antibiotic not sure which one
As a CF superhero how do you stay motivated and positive?
I 110% believe in staying positive. I am a very positive person and I believe it is half the battle to get through this thing we call life. I try to find the good in every day. Don’t get me wrong I do have bad days, we all do but I promise you on your worst day there will always, always, be good.I’m motivated by life, by love and by every breath I take. I know I was given this life because I am strong enough to live it. I hope that I can inspire others and help out in any way that I can… I want to change the world!
What is the hardest thing about being a CF superhero and what strategies do you have for dealing with it?
Sometimes the hardest thing can be staying so strong for everyone. I started Love To Breathe® back in 2001 and that has helped me in so many ways. My Love To Breathe Tokens have been so rewarding for me as well. Knowing that each token has had an impact on someone means the world to me. Making a difference in others peoples lives makes me feel good and in turn makes a difference in my life.One of my many passions in life is painting and writing. Living in the moment and making each breath count is the best way I think anyone can live life. When I am painting and writing it seems to me I am doing just that. These outlets are so healing and very therapeutic for me, and help me deal with stress and certain anxieties CF can cause.
What is your favourite CF superhero quote?
I love quotes and I have many that empower me. It’s hard to choose just one, so I will leave you with this…“Life is amazing. And then it’s awful. And then it’s amazing again. And in between the amazing and awful it’s ordinary and mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary. That’s just living heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life. And it’s breathtakingly beautiful.”-L.R. KnostLove To Breathe® is the legacy I have created to leave behind it means the world to me. “The goal isn’t to live forever, but to create something that will”-Chuck Palahniuk and that is exactly my hope and dream that through my paintings, my writings and my tokens my legacy will live on forever in this breathtakingly beautiful life.