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Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month: Aidan Hurley

By: Ayaan Abbasi

Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening disease that primarily affects the lungs, digestive system, and reproductive system, a disease that IUDM Chair Aidan Hurley was diagnosed with as a child.

He received surgery at Riley Hospital for Children when he was young due to a life-threatening incident that did not allow him to move substances through his digestive system. During this surgery, he flatlined for seven minutes, but he said that his doctors did not give up on him. 

“I was lucky to be with Riley and they took care of the rest,” he said.

As he grew up, his normal consisted of breathing treatments twice a day along with medicines for each meal. However, when he went to school, he started to feel different from others due to the routine he followed as well as the scars on his stomach from the surgery, causing him to not want to associate with Cystic Fibrosis.

This changed when he joined Dance Marathon, which he says allowed him to embrace his identity. After participating once in high school and at IU Indy, he decided to continue to participate when he transferred to IU Bloomington. 

Through this participation, Aidan understood the emotional impact of the organization and wanted to give back to Riley Hospital for Children. He spoke at IU Dance Marathon in 2023 about his Riley story inspiring attendees with his experience and became a Culture Chair on the Logistics Committee post-marathon.

While his lungs today are in good shape, CF is still a part of his everyday life such as with the enzymes he still has to take with every meal.

“I try to champion it and wear it with pride. I don’t feel the need to cover it up physically or socially.”

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