Athlete Name: Qayz Nurani
Hometown: Palm Desert, CA
Education: Junior, High School
Tell us a little about yourself
I am going into my junior year at Palm Desert High School. I was born and raised in Alberta, Canada, where I played hockey and soccer non-stop. I was in Canada for about 8 years, moving every 2 years or so to different cities in Alberta, so I had to learn to adapt to my environment constantly. When I was 8, we moved to Newport Beach, California and lived there for about 4 years. In Newport Beach, they did not have ice hockey, so I played roller hockey and soccer. I thought I was finally going to be in a house and not move, but my parents found a business in Palm Desert and it was too hard to drive back and forth constantly, so we moved to Palm Desert. There, I was the new kid in middle school, which was hard, but I found friends from the ice hockey program they had here. However, because of the heat, I gave up soccer and committed to ice hockey. I played hockey for our high school team (which is sadly closing down next season) and for our club team (which is also closed now). Because of these closing down this year, I have had to turn to other forms of staying healthy which means working out 3-4 times a week now and playing soccer for the first time in 3 years. I love Palm Desert and because of living in America I am able to get access to the Vest and to Kalydeco, which has drastically changed my life for the better. When I was born I had a collapsed lung and for about 12 years I had a 70-80% lung function which wasn’t bad, but I always wanted the highest possible so it was certainly disappointing to always get “low” results. Then about 4 years ago Kalydeco came out and my BMI went up to a 50%. My lung function is now 114% which in my mind is incredible, but I am still pushing to get this up even higher. I love video games and computers. I watch YouTube in my free time. I get at least one treatment done a day, which for me is a big improvement as when I started Kalydeco I was barely getting maybe 3 a week. However, I feel comfortable with this amount of treatments because of how my friends and I are. I wish all of these amazing CF treatments were available to everyone around the world who need it. I hope to do well in school and eventually do well enough in life to where I can afford to buy not only me but other people medicine.
"What motivates me the most is all of the kids and adults I read about online. The last CF athlete of the month I saw was incredible!"
Tell us what motivates you the most.
What motivates me the most is all of the kids and adults I read about online. The last CF athlete of the month I saw was incredible! She managed to balance like 5 different sports, excel in them, stay healthy and on top of her treatments and do well in school and hang out with her friends. It’s incredible what some people can do. I look to these kids and wonder why I can’t do what they’re doing; and I can’t use my CF as an excuse because they all have it and probably worse than I do. I also am motivated by every CF adult I read or hear about. They all prove that not only living with CF is possible but advancing in their lives and living until they are old is possible. It is very motivating knowing that others with CF have lived so long and stayed so healthy. The CF community is amazing and uplifting.
Why do you exercise?
I used to exercise just to get bigger muscles (which I still do), but I realized that there is another side to fitness, which is working out to stay healthy. My CF has never affected me too much, I am normally able to keep up with all the kids. However, I am finally understanding that at some point I won’t be able to keep up with everyone because it is a progressive disease, but working out allows me to prolong that period of prosperity in my lungs.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
When I grow up I want to be either a game developer and/or a business owner. I have always been interested in both of these paths and I am hoping to achieve these major goals in my life.
Who is your role model?
I have a few role models. My parents because they came from Africa as immigrants and moved their way up the social ladder and fighting to give the best to my brother and me. They now own a successful business and inspired me to hopefully go down the same path of owning a business. My brother is a role model for staying healthy, he constantly eats the right things and works out every minute he can. It has helped me become inspired to be healthy and active like him. I have plenty of other role models in my life, ranging from my family and friends to strangers I meet in the street to youtubers who I watch all the time. I feel that I do not have one role model rather hundreds of role models dedicated to helping me become a role model myself.