Twenty-year-old college student and running fanatic Sheldon Vigeant is always
on the go. Although he and his identical twin brother, Bryan, were diagnosed
with cystic fibrosis as infants, the disease has not slowed them down.
My care team at UMass Memorial does not let my health define me and helps me
lead as normal a life as possible," said Mr. Vigeant. Our Cystic Fibrosis
Center, which cares for more than 130 pediatric and adult patients every year,
includes physicians, nurses, nutritionists and a social worker.
"Cystic fibrosis is a chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive
system," said Brian O'Sullivan, MD, a pediatric pulmonologist and director of
the center. "Sticky secretions cause a vicious cycle of obstruction and
inflammation that make patients chronically sick. Our goal is to interrupt that
Since its founding in 1992, our center has been widely recognized for
excellent outcomes in nutrition and pulmonary function and is considered to be a
benchmark model for other programs nationwide. It also serves as a clinical
research site to advance the treatment of this incurable disease.
For Mr. Vigeant, continuity of care is another important part of the program.
"I've seen Dr. O'Sullivan and the same nurses since I was a baby," he said. "The
familiar faces give me more faith in the care I receive."