Farrel and Zack
How We Met
Zack and I were both born with Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic life-threatening illness that destroys the lungs and digestive system. We were born at the tail end of a generation when life expectancy with the illness barely exceeded grade school, let alone into the days of Internet technology, but we met completely by chance in October 2014 in a Facebook Cystic Fibrosis support group when I posted a status suggesting that nutrition and fitness play a large role in the quality of living with the illness.
Over 200 fellow patients bashed my idea…Except for Zack. He, a CrossFit trainer in Florida, stood up for me, a stranger half a country away in Texas, and I messaged him thanking him for his support. It wasn’t until May of the next year that we began talking regularly, but by June we decided to give a long-distance relationship a try and in July, I flew to meet him in Florida for the first time.
We only stayed long-distance for 3 months until in November, he flew to Texas to spend Thanksgiving with me and drove me, my pup and my belongings back home with him.
In less than a year, we have begun to build a fantastic life together, working daily toward a truly Christ-centered relationship, staying healthy, spending quality time with family and friends and traveling to different parts of the country together.
In January, we created Team Debo, a project focused on encouraging fellow CF patients to improve their quality of life through fitness, nutrition and a positive mindset. We have both had a MUCH more positive response as a team than individually! And it’s our goal for 2017 to launch a non-profit organization that takes our social media efforts even further.
How He Asked
Each year, Zack and I participate as team leaders in the Cystic Fibrosis Great Strides Walk, his in Tampa and mine in Dallas.
2016 was the first year that we formed a team together and on Saturday, May 21st over 50 family members and friends gathered together to campaign for a cure. Toward the end of the event, as our team was taking our group photo, Zack called their attention to make the announcement about the Team Debo non-profit we’re building, then proceeded to let everyone know that it was time to make Team Debo OFFICIALLY official…And dropped to one knee in the middle of the park and asked if I’d think about marrying him.
I started jumping up and down and, of course, said “YES!”, then koala bear hugged him and spent the rest of the day with sore cheeks from smiling so hard!