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COVID Precautions Are Familiar To CF Patients For Whom Mask Wearing Is More Important Than Ever

Sep 22, 2020

Molly and Emily Bonnell, daughters of Bonnell Foundation executive director Laura Bonnell
Credit Laura Bonnell

People with cystic fibrosis (CF) are all too familiar with washing their hands, avoiding germs, and socially distancing.  That is what they must do to stay healthy even when we're not in a pandemic.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with the creator and executive director of The Bonnell Foundation-Living With Cystic Fibrosis, Laura Bonnell, about her two daughters who have CF.  They have received their lifelong medical treatment at Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor and face even more serious health challenges due to COVID-19.


We’ve heard a lot about the impact of COVID-19 on people with “pre-existing medical conditions,” but, typically, that has focused on heart, health, or blood pressure, along those lines.  But there is another group of people who must take this virus very seriously and that is those with cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that causes chronic and fatal lung infections.  

Laura Bonnell is the founder and executive director of the Bonnell Foundation-Living with Cystic Fibrosis.  Laura has two daughters, Molly and Emily, now in their 20's, who both have CF and have received all of their treatment at University of Michigan CF clinic in Ann Arbor.

She says, because of the life threatening problems, even being around someone who only has a cold could cause those with CF serious harm.  They have been washing their hands, avoiding germs, and socially distancing all of their lives.  Laura says her daughters have barely left the house in six months since the pandemic began and shares that people who may see her daughters may not even realize their pre-existing health conditions--conditions she believes are an important reason people should wear masks in public during this pandemic.

The Bonnell Foundation is holding an online fundraiser this Saturday.

Invitation to the Bonnell Foundation's online fundraiser.
Credit Laura Bonnell

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu