BreatheCon is a free, two-day virtual event where adults with CF ages 18 and older come together to discuss their unique experiences through open and honest dialogue, while celebrating the power of community and connection.
This year’s BreatheCon is all about finding “your person” to connect with beyond CF, so we have a chance to see each other beyond just our similar diagnosis. In addition, BreatheCon will provide opportunities for everyone to find a place in the CF community, even if you’ve felt that you don’t belong.
BreatheCon will feature keynote panels, group chats, fun activities, and small-group video breakouts on issues that are unique to people living with cystic fibrosis.
Come share, connect, and learn while supporting each other and being inspired by one another.
These events would not be possible without volunteers from the CF community.
We are so excited to have you join us at the fifth-annual BreatheCon. This is, of course, a very interesting time in history to be getting together, now that the rest of the world understands the many infection control precautions and physical distancing that we as adults with CF have been doing for years!
On a serious note, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a major stressor for our community in ways that only other CFers can understand. So let’s take this time to be kind to ourselves and celebrate the power of community and connection; get real and honest about the good, bad, and everything in between of living with CF; and be open to building new relationships and new possibilities.
For this year’s BreatheCon there are a few goals you will see carried throughout the event:
- Diversity and Inclusion -- When the CF gene was discovered in 1989, CF was considered a fatal pediatric illness that affected majority white patients. Today, and every day moving forward, the faces of CF look more and more different and each of our individual experiences of CF become more and more divergent, especially in the advent of modulator therapy. While the entire world continues to grapple with the systems and institutions of our societies that encourage racism and anti-blackness, it’s crucial that our community take this time to amplify the voices of historically marginalized people. As long as racism exists, we all must continue to work on building inclusive spaces that celebrate differences among us and fight against health disparities that affect the most vulnerable of our community. Now more than ever, it is important to foster a community where all feel welcome and our differences build bridges rather than walls.
- Storytelling -- Each life with CF is so different from the other. Stories and the nuances of each experience, however, can be the most powerful tool for sharing insights and building connections. This year we want to really encourage people to share their stories and be compelled to learn from one another. But, most importantly, we want to allow space for stories to take shape through honesty and empathetic listening. The best stories are those told and heard from the heart.
- Mental Health and Healing -- Alongside physical fatigue, living with a chronic condition is mentally and emotionally exhausting and can heighten or amplify pre-existing mental health struggles for many of us. We want to make space to talk openly about the different ways each of us has sought to integrate better mental health and healing as a part of our CF care. As a community, we are well versed in some of the basic mental health needs, but let’s get into the nitty-gritty, share our stories, explore what works for some and what doesn’t work for others, and bring insight to what healing can look like on a day-to-day basis.
- More Than our CF -- We are more than our CF and we can and should be more to each other. At this year’s BreatheCon, we want to provide opportunities for adults with CF to connect on shared interests and identities so we have a chance to see each other beyond just our similar diagnosis.
Thank you again for joining us, we are looking forward to meeting you at BreatheCon!
-- BreatheCon 2020 Co-chairs
BreatheCon Swag Design Contest Winner
Adults with CF were invited to submit a creative work of their own design with the theme “What does the CF community look like to you?" The six finalists were selected based on artistic skill, creativity and originality, and contest theme communication expressed in both the artwork and supporting statement.
Just because BreatheCon is online doesn’t mean it’s not a REAL conference, so every year participants receive swag just like you would at an in-person conference.
Limited supply available. Swag will be mailed to U.S. residents.