Hi guys! My name is Celeste Hermes, I am a 19-year-old Public Health major at the University of Texas at Austin, and I have cystic fibrosis. I have two copies of the f508del mutation, like 45% of the CF population. I’m excited to share my plans for 2019 with all of you!
I’ve loved being a Longhorn so far - the sense of community I’ve built with my friends has been life-changing. They’ve helped me grow in so many aspects of my life, and I’m thankful to be around a group of amazing people every day. One of the organizations I’m involved with on-campus is called Camp Texas, created to give incoming freshmen a foundation of friends and an introduction to the university before they step foot on the campus. I’m a counselor with this group. During the upcoming Spring semester, we’ll have weekly trainings on dealing with difficult situations and promoting acceptance among different groups of people. It has given me new insight on team-building, and has given me my college family, whom I love dearly. This will be my second year as a counselor, and I’m hoping I will grow even more this coming year through this organization.
Because I just changed my major to public health from biochemistry, I’m going to be taking classes that are a little foreign to me in 2019. I will also be managing a project for my internship with Folia Health, with the goal of helping to automate the process of sending adult patients’ Folia data to their clinics before each appointment. We have all been working hard to find the best method for increasing Appointment Guides received in clinics. I’m so excited to see this part of Folia grow, as I have been working with them since May of 2018, before there was even an iOS application. I’m proud to be working with this company and am thrilled to take on a full-time internship position in July.
This summer is going to be a crazy one! I will also be studying abroad in Spain for a “maymester”, taking a class called Engineering in Global Health. We will be developing innovative ways to improve healthcare around the world during the trip. I love traveling, and I’m so thankful for this opportunity to learn while experiencing different cultures…all while practicing my Spanish! This past year, I went to Costa Rica to provide free healthcare and medication in underprivileged areas, and I knew I wanted to continue on a similar theme this coming summer.
Alongside all of this, I have been feeling great, and with new and improved CFTR modulators in stage-three clinical trials, my hopes are high. I am so thankful to be on Symdeko since March of this year, which was an upgrade from Orkambi, which I had been on since 2015. I love taking care of my body by exercising. Lately, I have been enjoying climbing, yoga, and running. In fact, I’m an influencer for a campus-wide 5K and 10K called the Longhorn Run, and I will be training for the 10K. The furthest I have consecutively run was for the 5-mile Turkey Trot, so I’m excited to push my endurance, and someday achieve my goal of completing a half-marathon.
With the help of tracking in Folia, I’ve had a better understanding and control of my health in 2018. I truly believe that Folia will revolutionize patient care, for not only cystic fibrosis patients like myself, but for everyone with an ongoing condition or disorder.
Overall, I am confident that 2019 will be a very successful year, full of learning, travel, and friends. There will be a lot of new challenges and positions I’ll be taking on, but I am positive that I’ll be able to set my health as top priority. Happy New Year!
To send a message to Celeste, post a comment below!