Share & Connect
With the intension of telling the compelling story of Beau Rich, an inspiring man I have been fortunate enough to know, I made contact with him over email. Beau is currently filming a cross-country documentary about his life and how to be active despite a diagnosis of cystic fibrosis. His following response speaks of his ability to take charge of his own life, despite the illness, and how he hopes to inspire others to live their life to the fullest, no matter what obstacles they face:
“My name is Beau Rich and I have cystic fibrosis. CF is a genetic disorder that primarily affects the lungs, but has done damage to my liver and pancreas due to thick mucus that gets produced throughout my body. I do daily breathing treatments, physiotherapy, and lung exercises to stay healthy. Since my pancreas can’t digest food on its own, I have to eat about twice as much as a regular person and take 20-30 pills every day just to keep my body functioning normally.
I grew up as the middle child with my mom and two brothers in Orlando, FL. It was there that I got my first skateboard on my 11th birthday. I started skating whenever I got the chance which was one of the healthiest things for my lungs, not only for the cardio but the impact of hopping, jumping and falling helped loosen up my lungs.
I lived in Palm Coast, FL for my middle and high school years before heading to Jacksonville, FL to live with my dad while attending Florida State College at Jacksonville. In 2010 I got into acting with my church and our human video and small drama won 1st place in the Nation in the Fine Arts Festival in Detroit. In 2012, I stared in a kids sitcom called Game On! at Universal Studios, FL where I met my girlfriend, Megan Russell.
After the show was finished I moved to Orlando and got hired as Peter Pan at Disney World. The second day of my training I got appendicitis and had to go into the hospital for an appendectomy, sinus surgery and a cycle of antibiotics. January, 2014, I moved to Atlanta, Ga to get involved in a more active film market. After several small jobs in Atlanta, I was given the opportunity to go to Los Angeles for two months.
When I found out that I was going to LA, I decided to use it as an opportunity to show the rest of the world a glimpse into the life of a traveling Cystic Fibrosis patient. As an actor and budding filmmaker, I hooked up with Full Sail University student, Miles Stancil, to film the first half of the trip to Denver, CO. While we were in Denver we stayed with the founder and president of the SafeHouse Movement, Joey Cusano, who rode with me on the second half from Denver to Los Angeles, CA.
On July 28th, I fly back to Orlando, FL for a doctors’ visit to see how my health has been affected during the month. From Orlando, my brothers and I are road tripping up to Atlanta, GA for the week to stay with family. From Atlanta, I fly to New York for a podcast on the amazing AffloVest, a portable, self-percussing chest therapy machine. I got the chance to use the AffloVest throughout the trip in some pretty amazing places such as camping in Hot Springs, AK, in the mountains in Colorado, the overlook of beautiful Emerald Bay in Lake Tahoe, CA, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and even in the passenger seat while riding in the car.
Traveling across the country at 23 years old, when I was told I wouldn’t live to see my first birthday, is a humbling and grateful experience that I don’t and will never take for granted. I started this trip with the hope of encouraging people with CF to live more actively and to realize that the only limitations on your life are the ones you place on it, that you already have everything inside of you to accomplish the things that you are supposed to do on this Earth. Once you realize this, there is nothing in your body that will stop you from reaching your destiny. Every breath I breathe, no matter how short or shallow is a constant reminder of how blessed I am to be alive and an incentive to cherish each day that I am given.
The future was a scary thing to think of a few years ago. Now, with all the medical advancements and new treatments that have come out, I can fully expect to live an active, healthy and benevolent life. I have never looked at CF as a death sentence, but a charge against my soul to live a more fulfilling life than I could ever imagine.
I’m no fortune teller but I do plan on getting married, having kids, and raising a family of my own. Right now, I try to live each day as if everything that has ever happened in my life leads up to this moment, the moment of now. The moment of life, of love, of joy, of all the things that makes this world so wonderful…. and I just breathe.”
If you would like to find out more information, make a donation, or see pictures and videos of Beau’s adventures so far, visit his documentary site at GoFundMe.com
Image credit: Beau Rich via Facebook.com