PERU - When Brooke Taptick was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at 10 days old, her parents didn't know what to do.
"We were just in disbelief," said Brooke's mother, Meghan Daley Taptick. "It was almost like there was a cloud over our heads."
Taptick, a Peru native, and her husband, Mike, who both reside in Rutland, Vt., didn't know much about the chronic disease which affects a person's lungs and digestive system. For Taptick, the words cystic fibrosis were ones that, at first, left her feeling "isolated and alone."
"I hadn't really heard of CF before. I didn't know anyone who had it," she said. "That was a really scary thing."
However, it wasn't long before Taptick found the disease was more common than she thought.
"When I told all of my friends, it seemed like every one of them knew someone with CF," she said. "People came out of the woodwork."
The Tapticks were soon put in touch with other families who have or have had loved ones with CF through a parent advisory group at Vermont Children's Hospital. It was a relief to the Tapticks to know they weren't alone in helping a family member combat the disease.
"Talking to other moms with children that have CF is a huge help," said Brooke's mother.
When Brooke was first diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, the Tapticks took their daughter to see a CF specialist. There, the doctor said it was an "exciting time in the world of cystic fibrosis" because of the medical advancements that have been made since the condition was first discovered.
"It was kind of hard to hear that," said Taptick. "But it was because they're on the horizon of developing a drug that's supposed to make a huge difference to everyone with CF, to make the cells work properly."