Chris W.

Graduate Recipient

"In honor of the 25th anniversary of the AbbVie CF Scholarship, choose an event (personal or cultural/historical) from the past 25 years and describe how it has impacted your journey with CF."

Four years ago, I was invited to be a guest at a CF fundraiser in the Bahamas. The focus of the two-week event was freediving, a sport in which athletes swim as deep as they can on a single breath. We were joined by some of the world’s elite freedivers who dedicated their lives to mastering their breathing. They performed feats I never thought were humanly possible. I watched them slip under the waves, disappear into the darkness, and return to the surface several minutes later, all with no diving equipment. I was awestruck at how remarkable of a machine the human body is. Learning from their breathing exercises inspired me to create my own regimen (involving active cycle and autogenic drainage), which is now the cornerstone of my airway clearance. While CF prevents me from diving or using certain respiratory techniques, I have still been able to explore my breath and push myself in ways I had never dreamed; at a freediving workshop this past summer, I held my breath for three minutes. I am incredibly grateful to the fundraiser’s sponsors who compelled me to take control of my breathing. The event also taught me that fundraisers are not simply about money; they are opportunities for empowerment. Sharing stories and experiences established a sense of community that makes the burden of sick times feel a little lighter. With profound appreciation, I recognize the many forms of support that have enabled me to enjoy such a wonderful life.


Chris W.'s Artwork

Chris W.'s Achievements

  • Co-authored a book chapter in the "Handbook of Parenting", 2017
  • Awarded the University of California Provost Fellowship (given to the top 5 percent of PhD students), 2016
  • Selected as Baccalaureate speaker by the Idyllwild Arts high school student body, 2016
  • Co-authored a book chapter in "Achieving Workers’ Rights in the Global Economy", 2015
  • Received two grants from the Arts Enterprise Laboratory, 2014 and 2015
  • Founded and managed the Global Arts, Action, and Social Entrepreneurship Program at Idyllwild Arts Academy, 2014-2016
  • Updated one of the most popular Sociology textbooks in production as assistant editor for W. W. Norton, 2015
  • Created the Global Studies department at American University Preparatory Academy, 2014
  • Coordinated the critical CSR research group at UCSB, 2014
  • Nominated for the UCSB outstanding MA thesis award, 2013