Celebrating the Life of Andres Miranda
After suffering from Cystic Fibrosis (CF) his entire life, Santa Clara High School graduate Andres Miranda’s battle with CF ended on January 13, 2019. Andres departed peacefully at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, in the loving presence of his brothers, lifelong medical and foster caregivers, and many extended family members at his bedside.
The month of May is Cystic Fibrosis month and with Andres’ family’s permission, we thought it only fitting that we pay tribute to Andres and all of the other CF suffers by sharing an impactful poem that Andres wrote about CF — his unforgiving companion since four months of age.
A Poem by Andres - November 2017
Every day, there's a constant fight.
But not everyone can see, that the fight is between
my body and me.
I hurt, I cough, I breathe.
I just want a break, is that so hard to see?
They say I'm a hero, and they say I'm strong.
But sometimes I think they're all wrong.
I smile, I laugh and pretend I'm okay.
Truefully, that's how I make it, day by day.
I constantly hear healthy people complain. Seriously?
How many times have you had a needle shoved through your chest?
I sit, I cough, I gasp for air, and at the same time,
it feels like my lungs are starting to tear.
Doctors, treatments, needles and pills.
Just the sound of them, give people the chills.
I'm fighting. I'm breathing.
At times, I'm simply deceiving.
It might seem simple, maybe easily done.
But I'm fighting my whole life, and this battle I still haven't won.
You know I'm greatly jealous of you.
Because you have lungs that for me, would be considered brand new.
But really, what else should I say? I shouldn't just sit here and complain.
I have my friends, my family, and I have myself.
That's really all I need, even if I'm not in great health.
I'm going to fight. I'm going to win.
I'm going to use all the strength I have within.
I've come this far along.
And I promise you I'm going to stay strong.
Thousands of people, fighting to breathe every day.
Thousands of people, wanting to be okay.
Andres’ family describes him as courageous, persistent, stubborn, and resilient. Not only did he possess the ability to connect to others in a deep, profound way, but also demonstrated deep empathy for others and emphasized the importance of family. He is appreciated by friends for being loving, giving, selfless, and making other’s life better. Besides being a prankster, Andres’ health care professionals fondly recall him being humorous, witty, social, friendly, and full of charisma. Despite being in and out of hospitals since childhood, enduring lung infections, abiding long periods of isolation rules in the hospital, and having to attend memorial services for his birth mother and his CF friends, Andres showed others how to keep living with adversity. In school, he enjoyed interacting with the football team, student leadership, and most of all his relationship with friends. School staff working with Andres warmly recall how his smile could light up a room and the impression he left on many of his classmates and staff.
Andres wished others would be aware that a person with CF often appears very skinny, not due to an eating disorder; but because of the number of calories burned just to breathe. His advice to young people with CF is to be on top of their treatment, keeping health a priority. Andres considered himself smart, stubborn, big-hearted, artistic, and a writer.
According to the Cystic Fibrosis Center at Stanford, CF is one of the most common genetic (inherited) diseases in America. It is also one of the most serious. It mainly affects the lungs and the digestive systems in the body, causing breathing problems and problems digesting foods. It is a chronic disease that currently has no cure. To learn more please visit the Cystic Fibrosis Center on Stanford’s website.