Briana Bonham
Briana Bonham

The biggest worries for most college students might be getting to class or completing assignments. But University of Louisville senior Briana Bonham faces an even a greater challenge – Cystic Fibrosis.

At three months old, Bonham was diagnosed with CF, a genetic, chronic terminal disease that affects her lungs, digestive system, and reproductive system. It will most likely kill her before she is 40, but Bonham doesn’t let CF control her life.

“When I look at it, everyone is going to pass away at some point so why would you waste it?” Bonham asks. 

Bonham is taking up to 18 hours of classes per semester and is studying to become a lawyer in medical malpractice. Each day, she carries a vibrating vest along with her books. She must put on the vest for 20 minutes to two hours twice a day to loosen the buildup of fluid in her lungs and allow her to breathe. Bonham doesn’t ask for anyone’s sympathy, but she does inspire everyone around her.

“She really does, I think, inspire everybody … She has Cystic Fibrosis and she’s not letting that limit her studies,” said Biology Professor Mark Running.

Check out more of her story: