"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Jackie Price was sitting on her front porch when I pulled up to her house. Her dogs came out to my car with a friendly greeting - and that warm, open tone was never broken throughout the entire interview.
For 25 years, Jackie has been living with Cystic Fibrosis. It's a rare genetic disease that affects your lungs and pancreas. On top of that, she also has a rare gene mutation of CF, which makes her treatments even more complicated.
After Jackie told me about her birth - how doctors told her dad she wasn't going to make it through surgery, but he told them to go back in because losing her wasn't an option - I realized then Jackie's life has been a miracle from birth.
No, she hasn't been able to go back to work full time since her lung transplant, but she's making it there twice a week.
No, she won't be able to get rid of the scars from her tracheotomy and dozens of other surgeries, but she's alive.
No, she doesn't look at the average life expectancy for a person with CF because, "It's always changing. Because next year it could be 10 more years."
It's been a week since I met Jackie and I'm still running through that interview in my head. I hope her strength, positive outlook and tenacity come across in this story. She is a fighter - no matter how many times she's been knocked down.
From my TV high heels, to the baseball cap I wear nearly everywhere else... I'm finding my voice in this blogging world.