Cystic Fibrosis workout warrior, Camryn Koke, inspires others in many more ways than none.
The sports-loving 15-year-old sophomore at Southold High School is making an impact on the lives of others even as she fights her own battle with cystic fibrosis.
“It hasn’t been easy. I’ve had a lot of surgeries and everything. I have to get up at 4:30 every day and do five nebulizer treatments. I have to do that just to try to live a normal life like everyone else.”
Ask anyone you talk to in Southold and they’ll tell you that Camryn is anything but ordinary. She excels in school and every sport she plays, often with a big smile on her face. Terence Rusch, Camryn’s school principal at Southold High School, comments on her passion for school and athletics.
“She’s a rock star, she really is. You would never know that she has cystic fibrosis.”
Whether she’s on the field or in the classroom, Koke’s enthusiasm is contagious and something many of her friends, teammates, coaches, and counselors feed off of. David Baryk, her school psychologist, says she unlike many other students.
“She has this innate natural resilience that comes out in this determination, this visceral optimism.”
Sports are a big part of Camryn’s life. Her parents opened up her world to dancing at the age 2. She discovered basketball and tennis – which have given her opportunities to show off her impressive athleticism and determination.
“I might not be feeling well on certain days, but when I go out and play sports I feel so much better. It keeps me healthy, that’s for sure.”
Her mother, Jennifer, talks about how Camryn uses sports and extra-curricular activities as outlets for better health, competition, and fun.
“I think sports have helped her live a really active lifestyle. She loves sports and it keeps her competitive. When she’s playing, she doesn’t even know she’s exercising.”
While exercising helps in her battle against cystic fibrosis, Camryn takes the fight to the disease by fundraising with a polar plunge, in addition to speaking to groups about CF.
“We have to find a cure for this. So many people have it and we have to find a cure for it now. We are really close.”
With someone like Camryn Koke fighting the good fight and raising awareness about cystic fibrosis, there’s a good chance researchers will find a cure sooner rather than later.