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Growing up, Dylan Randazzo, 25, faced many struggles after being diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at birth. “I was always sick,” says the New York native of the daily battle against the thick, sticky mucus that would fill his airways. “I didn’t think I would live long.”
The chase to find a better quality of life had Dylan and his siblings, who also have the disease, visiting multiple doctors and trying various medications.
Dylan found a spark of hope after his sister moved to Florida, hoping the salt air would help her, and learned about Mayo Clinic’s certified cystic fibrosis center in Jacksonville, Florida. Throughout college, Dylan was on his school’s Rugby team. However, it was challenging to keep up and run alongside his teammates, he recalls. At that time, he coughed constantly and required intravenous therapy every two to three months. When pulmonologist Dr. Margaret Johnson shared the news that a new medication that had been approved for cystic fibrosis in 2019, Dylan wasn’t sure what the future held. His response was phenomenal. His symptoms are such that IV treatment is needed only once a year and no more coughing.
“It was a 360-degree turnaround. My team at the Mayo Clinic has changed my life for the better,” says Dylan, who began to work out and took up running again as his lung function returned.
After years of struggling to simply breathe, he found inspiration as he pounded the pavement, setting a goal to run the New York City Marathon. Although the event was cancelled due to COVID-19, Dylan’s renewed passion for running remained. In February 2022, he completed 26.2 miles, crossing the finish line at the DONNA marathon, an annual event supporting breast cancer patients held in Jacksonville. His sights are set on running the famed New York race in November.
“Through Mayo Clinic, I’ve been able to live the best version of myself,” says Dylan. “And I’m forever grateful for the care I’ve received and the healthier lungs I have now.”