Faces in the Crowd: The Vlcek Family
The Vlcek family has a new mission in life since their daughter was born with cystic fibrosis. They are advocating for the fight against the progressive disease.
RAPID CITY, S.D. — As Trista Vlcek goes through a laundry list of medications her daughter takes daily – the regimen seems overwhelming.
When Raelah was born a year ago, everything seemed fine, but at her 2-week checkup — abnormal labs raised a red flag. The Vlcek’s were in disbelief — their seemingly healthy, newborn baby girl had cystic fibrosis.
According to Trista Vlcek, Raelah’s mom, “Within a month of thinking we had this perfect little baby, to you know, get an indicator showing it, you know, the full diagnosis. It was quite the shock and quite the train ride.”
They met with the team of professionals — trying to figure out a new way of life.
“How do we go about modifying our life to make the best for her. And it was really difficult to navigate, you know, we’re still trying to figure out boundaries and trying to advocate for her and speak up. Being aware of our surroundings 24/7,” says Trista.
Raelah’s daily protocol includes nebulizer treatments, vest therapy and enzyme intake with food. But CF has not restricted her. She has met all of her milestones.
Trista says, “There’s no limitations as long as you’re keeping up with her treatments and that’s kind of why they call it the silent disease. They kind of suffer at home and they can do everything kind of behind closed doors, but they live a normal life. And if people don’t know about her CF if I didn’t come up front, they would never know.”
Although Raelah’s way of life will be drastically different with CF, Trista wants her daughter to never let it get in the way of her dreams.
“Her cystic fibrosis, it is not Raelah — it’s just a part of her life. It does not define her life. So I want her to know that she has the whole world in her hands, she can do whatever she wants to do in this life. There’s no limitations for her.”
The Great Strides Walk, which raises funds and awareness of CF, will be held tomorrow beginning at 10 a.m. at the Old Storybook Island Shelter. Check in begins at 9 a.m.