“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, some style.” ~ Maya Angelou

No matter how hard we try to toe the line in life, things go wrong. Life is filled with disasters and things can look bleak even when we’ve done everything right. We lose our jobs, our partners leave us. Bad things happen — but it’s up to us to choose how we respond to them.

Every situation we experience in life is a chance to learn and grow, but sometimes it can be hard to see the opportunity beneath the layers of emotion we build up around ourselves. We know that people make it through dark times, but going through them yourself is different; it can feel like there’s no way out.

The difference between those who make it and those who don’t isn’t some mystical trick or advanced genetic advantage. Those who succeed in life choose to succeed and those who don’t…well, it’s easy to get caught up in the bad things that happen to us. We have to pay a price to reach greatness, and even though it’s painful, the journey is beautiful. By learning to make the best of any situation we can grow in unimaginable ways. All it takes is a little change in perspective. 

For Meghan Kozlowski, making the most of every moment is the way she lives her everyday life. She has shown 5ALPHA how she is doing it better in her community and beyond! 

When Meghan was 2 years old she was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis: a genetic disorder that affects the lungs, pancreas, and other organs. She is now 30 years old. As a toddler Meghan had severe lung infection from pneumonia and wasn’t digesting any food, leading to a ton of weight loss. When she was misdiagnosed several times, her mom finally reached an amazing physician who knew what was wrong. He told her if they would’ve waited a few more days she wouldn’t have been alive. From then on from ages 2 to 30, she has abided by the routine of treatments, exercise, eat, Repeat. 

Those with CF need a high caloric intake due to nutritional deficiency and exercise helps clear out the lungs. 

“I wouldn’t be where I am without my family and support system. I owe them everything. When I was in my mid-20s, my entire family moved to the beach, purely to help improve my lung function when it started to decline. The life expectancy for CF was about 37 at the time, so we felt we needed to make the change. The salt from the ocean has been found to improve lung symptoms in persons with CF and improve their overall function. Meghan emphasized how much family means to her, “I have definitely noticed a difference, and am grateful every day that we can all be here together.” 

Right now Meghan is doing the 65 roses challenge to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis. She runs, bikes, or swims 1 mile per $1 raised.

“My lifelong goal has been dedicated to not only beating this disease but burying it, raising enough money to make CF stand for “Cure Found,” Meghan said. 

By exercising anywhere from 1-4 hours per day, as well as doing breathing treatments for an additional 1-2 hours per day, she is able to keep beating CF. 

A good deal of people with CF cannot exercise like she can, because their bodies all tolerate the disease differently. Even her own health is very unpredictable. That’s why she doesn't take the time she feels well for granted. 

 “I’m crushing these miles so that I can add 100s of tomorrows to my own life and hopefully the lives of other “CFers” around the world.”

Meghan has raised almost $1300, with donations still coming in. Between July 3- to Labor Day. She will bike/run/or swim 1 mile per dollar. So far she has completed 610 miles. She is loving every second of it and is thankful that her body’s handling all the grind.

We salute Meghan on her journey to impact change into the lives of those suffering from CF. Her life, story, and determination has truly inspired the team here at 5ALPHA. We are so proud of what she has accomplished and are ecstatic to see what barriers she breaks in the future. 

Keep touching the lives of others Meghan. We are with you! 

Do It Better. 

Looking to donate? Check out Meghan’s website here! 

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