Creatives That Rock: Brigette's Journey to New Lungs

Brigette McKern, has been a professional graphic designer since 2004 when she started with the Walt Disney Company, but she was designing even at 8 years old. "I used to design my own cereal box and can labels and tape them over the boxes and cans in the cupboards of our kitchen," she says. She is now using her creativity and her courage in amazing ways. She is documenting her journey, raising funds, and also raising awareness of Cystic Fibrosis.

At 4 years old Brigette was diagnosed with the genetic disease Cystic Fibrosis. This incurable disease causes thick mucus to build up in the lungs and digestive system. Her long term solution is a double lung transplant. She has been on the transplant waiting list now for two years. She has started a facebook page to tell her story. The facebook page "Brigette's Journey to New Lungs" documents her day to day challenges. Brigette used to try to hide her symptoms. She didn't want pity, or to be discounted because of her illness. Sharing her story has helped her feel much more confident about this difficult life journey.

She also finds comfort and stability in her artistic abilities. "One minute I may be creating a self-portrait expressing my current state of illness, and the next minute I'm illustrating a cupcake with a smiley face. Having a chronic illness made me feel like I didn't have absolute control of my life. But being creative is something that illness can't take from me and I can have complete control over," says Brigette.

This quirky illustration by Brigette is a self-portrait with her oxygen in tow.

She has also started a booster campaign selling shirts to help with medical expenses and to raise awareness. Her sense of humor really shines through in this design!

To support Brigette you can visit her booster page and purchase one of these rockin' shirts! You can also visit her CaringBridge site.

"I hope that my story inspires confidence and self esteem. We're all so hard on ourselves and see nothing but flaws when we turn inward. But what we think are flaws are things that make us who we are. It's a lifelong path, but a really wonderful one to take. And if your path also includes some bumps along the way, I hope that you are inspired to take things head-on with strength, and a little bit of humor too!"

Brigette has really opened my eyes to the struggle of having a chronic illness and has inspired me with her strength, talent, and openness. Her art, her spirit, and her tenacity is a force to be reckonned with! To quote Steven Tyler, "I have to get inspired by something that touches my soul, or rocks my soul."