30-Year-Old CF Patient Starts Nonprofit, 'Breathe Believe'
Start writing a post
Student Life

30-Year-Old CF Patient Starts Nonprofit, 'Breathe Believe'

Breathe Believe's mission is to give those living with CF reason to BELIEVE.

30-Year-Old CF Patient Starts Nonprofit, 'Breathe Believe'
Angela Ruggeri

Angela Ruggeri founded ‘Breathe Believe’ to give those living with cystic fibrosis a reason to believe.

Angela is 30 years old and is a cystic fibrosis patient who channeled her love for helping others and inspiring others with CF to start her very own nonprofit.

Breathe Believe is Angela’s way of honoring all those who have given so much of themselves to keep her alive.

100 percent of the money Angela’s nonprofit raises is used to provide those with CF, who cannot afford to pay the insurmountable cost of treatment, with medicine and care.

While many larger foundations do exist, Angela says that they assist only with funding research for a cure but not with helping needy individuals to get the basic necessities they need to survive.

“No one should die from CF because there is no cure and they cannot get what they need,” she said.

Angela was diagnosed with CF at 6 months old and maintained a fairly healthy childhood (as many CFers do); however, by age 14, her illness began to progress.

For those of you who do not know, cystic fibrosis is a genetic illness that is progressive in that frequent lung infections limit the ability to breathe over time, and other CF-related ailments like diabetes, liver and kidney disease result in chronic complications.

Though following her dream to become a nurse had to be put on hold due to ongoing complications with CF, she calls her illness a blessing in disguise and said Breathe Believe has filled the void that is to help others.

Because college had to be put on hold, Angela found solace in founding her nonprofit. There were many questions that came along with its beginning, like how to go about filing as a 501(c)3, what to name the foundation, how to create a mission that builds a positive, trustworthy brand…

She said the name and mission came to her as signs when her cousin, Connie, thought of getting a tattoo in Angela’s honor, saying “Breathe Believe.”

At that time, Angela’s best friend, Katie, had recently passed away due to end-stage cystic fibrosis. Though coping was difficult at first, Angela directed her emotion towards moving forward with making Breathe Believe a reality.

Breathe Believe is now approaching its seventh year and has the support of Angela’s family and friends, and countless communities, businesses, and others with CF.

Her foundation is based in Long Island, New York, and holds several fundraisers per year, including holiday parties and comedy shows.

Breathe Believe is also actively involved with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation .

Interested in learning more about Breathe Believe? Check it out on Facebook and instagram!


Angela, thank you for giving me the opportunity to tell your amazing story. Your efforts towards raising awareness for CF and helping those in need are an inspiration to the CF community, and I hope that by sharing your story we can make even more of a difference.


So what's your CF miracle?

If you or someone you know would like to share a CF 'miracle' story, please contact me at kristyannwrties@gmail.com

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

To The Boy Who Changed Me

Just another open letter from a crazy ex-girlfriend.


You’re probably thinking, “oh sh*t, my ex is writing a hate letter and a tell-all about our roller coaster tycoon relationship with terrible fallout.” But if you’re thinking that, oh honey you’re wrong. This isn’t some sappy pity party nonsense and it’s not a trash-my-ex tell all; it’s a journey. And it’s my side of our story to tell…

Keep Reading... Show less

Dear College Students, Are You Undecided?

The Girlfriend's Guide to College

Dear College Students, Are You Undecided?

Up until last week, I always had a major. I was an international business major, finance major, psych major on the pre-medicine track… and now (finally) I am exactly where I should have been when I started college: undecided. I think there is too much pressure as a high school student to have a designated path about what you want to study, be when you 'grow up' and essentially spend the rest of your life doing. As an 18-year-old, I really feel like I tried to pin myself down to a major so that I had a set path to follow and something to look towards. This is probably very conventional and I know tons of people at school who have their minds made up about what they want to study.

Keep Reading... Show less

Life Is Messy

Finding who you are in your 20s

Life Is Messy

I am 25 years old and just now learning who I am. When I separated from my husband I was terrified of what would follow. I did not know who I was outside of a relationship, nor did I know how to be on my own. It was scary, and I was so lost. I spent months discovering who I was, and what I wanted to be. I am still searching as I believe we never truly know who we are even when we "grow up". I came to the realization that I had been hiding a part of myself for my entire life. Coming out was not easy, growing up in the church made it scary, and hard. I was told growing up that being anything but straight was such a sin, and that i would spent my life in hell because of it. I came out to my parents when I was 25 years old. I picked up the phone and called my mom, and uttered the words "I'm queer" through tears. I knew my parents would be supportive, but that didn't make it any easier for me to vulnerable and raw. Since then, I have slowly started being more authentic in who I am, and not hide parts of me just because of people's shitty opinions.

Keep Reading... Show less

Ask Your BFF These 20 Questions To See If They Know You As Well As You THINK That They Do

Ask your best friend these basic questions to see just how well they know you.

Ask Your BFF These 20 Questions To See If They Know You As Well As You THINK That They Do

My best friend has been in my life since we were 3 years old, now that we are adults now, I'd like to ask her these questions to see how well she knows me.

Keep Reading... Show less

Alone At The Met

I survive a day alone in NYC.

Wikimedia Commons

It was six in the evening. I was sitting in the courtyard of a Renaissance-era Italian villa, glancing around at the statues, most notably one of a boy removing a thorn from his foot. Despite the supposedly relaxing setting, I was incredibly anxious. My phone was at less than 5 percent battery, and once it died I would be completely disconnected from my family and peers, alone in one of the largest art museums in the country.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments