meet our neighbors
Abbie Pancoast Vollmar
As many as four times every day, Abbie Pancoast Vollmar fights cystic fibrosis (CF) with breathing treatments and time spent wearing a vibrating vest to break up the sticky mucus congesting her lungs. She takes a handful of prescriptions before every meal and snack because the same mucus also clogs many of her organs. This includes her pancreas which causes diabetes. Her twin girls were born via surrogate because to carry them, Abbie’s health would have been detrimentally impacted.
Joel Brachbill is a junior in high school. His routine includes four breathing treatments daily, which take as long as 45 minutes each. He must also take enzyme prescriptions before every meal so that he can digest what he eats.
Lexi Taylor has just turned 22. CF also severely impacts weight gain and growth. In her early years of high school, despite how much she ate, she only weighed 90 pounds. She was so malnourished that her medical team wanted to surgically implant a feeding tube, but she refused. Instead, she learned to insert a nasal cannula every night so that her body was nourished as she slept.
makenzie fleshner rentfro
Makenzie Fleshner Rentfro married Jacob Rentfro on August 1, 2015. Her CF condition is complicated by epilepsy and Grand Mal seizures. During her senior year of high school, she missed 87 days of school. Due to her clogged lungs, she would fight for air all night, and on the following day fear that exhaustion would trigger seizures.
The above are success stories of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has had many advancements in treatments that prolong the lives of those affected. Unfortunately many times cystic fibrosis wins the war, as in the case of Meliah Miller, a life cut short by this hideous disease.
Meliah Miller fought CF all of her life with pills, breathing treatments, and a can-do attitude. At the young age of 24, Meliah lost her battle with CF. She passed away just one year after losing her son in pregnancy. Meliah was a beloved employee of Shelby Memorial Hospital at the time. She was both beautiful and gifted with a magnetic personality. Her last words to her mother were, “Don’t let people forget me.”