MORRISONVILLE Everyday is a celebration of fatherhood for Michael Hynes. Whenever son Carson or daughter Kaitlin has an activity, he is sure to be present. Living with cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that causes thick mucus to build up in the lungs and digestive tract resulting in chronic lung disease, has helped Michael never take his family for granted.
Several weeks ago Michael took his 13-year-old son Carson to a Saranac Pack 35 Cub Scout meeting where Carson was a volunteer helper. At the close of the meeting Adina Hatch encouraged the cub scouts to take part in a fund-raiser for cystic fibrosis. She asked Michael if he would share his experience with CF.
Michael gladly obliged. He thanked the scouts who were planning to participate. The fundraising and donations that support research to find new treatments for CF have prolonged his life for many years.
I was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when I was only 6 weeks old. The doctors told my parents that I would not live a year, Michael said.
But the doctors kept extending his life expectancy a few years at a time as new treatments became available. Shortly after he graduated from high school he was so ill with chronic pneumonia that he slept 23 out of every 24 hours. He had only months left to live when research uncovered new hope. He had the opportunity to take part in clinical research with new antibiotics. It was risky, but if he wanted to extend his life, it was the only option. The drugs (Tobramycon and Ticarcyllin) worked miraculously well. Without these drugs he never would have married or had children.
Eventually, his lungs deteriorated so much that his only hope of extending his life was a double lung transplant, an operation available only because of continued donations and fund-raisers for further medical research. He had the operation 11 years ago. His breathing is becoming more labored again, But, he said, I have lived to see my two children become teenagers. What more could I ask for?