There is an old saying: “If life hands you lemons, make lemonade.”
Sandy Springs resident Andy Lipman has not only made “lemonade” with the “lemon” life handed him when he was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when he was born, but he has excelled as an author, having written his fourth book.
Cystic fibrosis is an incurable disease in which the body produces mucus that can clog the lungs and block the pancreas, causing shorter lifespans or even death.
Lipman’s latest book, entitled “The CF Warrior Project: 65 Stories of Triumph against Cystic Fibrosis,” is being published next month by BookLogix and priced at $26.99. He said it would be available on Amazon and in book stores May 8 to coincide with National Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month.
A portion of the proceeds from his book will go to various charities aiming to find a cure for cystic fibrosis, including many of those featured in it, he said.
Though the life expectancy for an individual with cystic fibrosis this year is 37.5 years, it was only 10 in 1962, according to the Cystic Fibrosis News Today website. Lipman, 45, wrote two of his first three books on examining his life at ages 25 and 35.
He said he credits his longevity to his parents, who continually encouraged him, as a youngster, to accomplish things not expected of someone with the disease.
He now, however, has another motivating factor. He wants to continue to live with his wife, Andrea, and watch their children grow up.
“I am able to see each day how much time and effort it takes for him to stay healthy and, with this disease, that effort is mind-blowing,” his wife said. “My husband is truly dedicated, and he is an inspiration to watch as he is putting a 150 percent effort to watch his children grow up while increasing the level of awareness regarding CF.”
Lipman said, from a physical standpoint, he credits his longevity to his workouts in the gym as well as maintaining his schedule of receiving treatment and taking his prescribed medications. His new book includes interviews with 65 individuals who have also thrived despite having cystic fibrosis. From teenagers to septuagenarians, they have accomplished amazing things, Lipman said.
“I wanted to record, as much as I could for the next generation, as many of these outstanding stories of people with CF (as possible) and what they accomplished,” he said of the book, which took him two and a half years to write.
A news release on the book stated Lipman had defied all odds to become a college graduate, Olympic torchbearer, runner, husband, father, activist and author.
Each story in his book has its own merits, but the common theme among them is how these heroes with cystic fibrosis maintained a positive attitude, despite the challenges of their disease.
“Living life requires more than just breathing. It requires loving every minute we have on this Earth,” Lipman said. “This book is about warriors who never gave up in making their lives purposeful.”
He said in the release he was not just talking about individuals who are living their lives, but those who are also accomplishing amazing things while doing so. In the book Lipman not only tells stories of survivors but he also is dedicated to finding a cure for this genetic disease.
His family founded the Wish for Wendy Foundation in memory of Lipman’s older sister, who died of cystic fibrosis only 16 days after being born.
As of 2019, the foundation has contributed more than $4 million to help raise awareness for cystic fibrosis and fund research for a cure.
“The people I talk about in my book have reached for the moon and did not use their condition as a crutch, but used it as a motivation to achieve more,” Lipman said.
For more information or to purchase the book, visit www.cfwarriorproject.org.