MICHAEL CAHILL

At 36, Michael Cahill has achieved some amazing milestones.


CFWA: What do you do to keep mentally healthy?
My daughter Zoe and my wife Natalie keep me going. Also, having a full time job which I’ve had since I was 16 motivates me. If I want to support my family and pay my mortgage, I have to keep my job.
When I have a bad day, I usually call Nat and ask her to get a picnic basket ready and we will go out for a picnic. I also allow myself to chill when I need to. I watch movies with Zoe or we play computer games and just wind down and forget about the rough patches.
We have made our house accommodating for when we need to just chill out.  Natalie has her craft room and I have a man cave.


CFWA: What do you do to keep physically healthy?
When I was on the trial for the mixed combination drugs, lumacaftor and ivacaftor, my health improved dramatically. This had the most impact out of all the medications I have taken during my life. I had no chest infections or hospitalisations during the trials. I coughed a lot less too. Surprisingly, the results of my lung function did not show a huge improvement, but I felt great. I was able to do so much more than I could before.
My health was steady before I went on the trial. I had always done a bit of running and bike riding but when I crashed and burned, I really crashed and burned. Whereas when I went on the trial, I was able to do so much more. So much so that we went to the US for six weeks this summer. I would never have done that before. Our trip covered Orlando (Disney World and Universal Studios), Texas, Washington and finished in New York. I was able to get insurance for the trip through Insure and Go® and my health was fully covered. They are the only insurance company that would cover me.


I also ran in the HBF Run for a Reason last year, and have been participating in CFWA’s Great Strides 4 km run with my wife Natalie and daughter Zoe for the past two years. Zoe and I also run 5 km runs most Saturdays in a local park. The parkruns are a world-wide thing, where they give you a bar code and time your run (parkrun organise free, weekly, 5km timed runs around the world. They are open to everyone, free, and are safe and easy to take part in).


In 2013 before I started the trial and training for running, I could run about 2 km in 20 minutes, whereas now I can run 5 km in 29 minutes, which is my personal best. I am now aiming to be able to run 12 km.

CFWA: How do you stay on track with your treatment, work and family?
We have a good routine so we can fit everything in. Natalie works too and Zoe does dancing a few times a week plus her other after school activities. We are disciplined in getting things done.
I always take my required medications as all my meds keep my body going. Missing a dose sets me back and I don't have time for that. I always find time for my nebs and inhalers, usually at night and close to bedtime works well for me.


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