Just before the interview started, Evan Ransom ran into the family room to sit with his parents and two brothers on the couch. The second he turned to jump into their laps, the back of his shirt came into the frame of my video camera. It said, "I am a fighter."
I am a fighter.
It's the motto for Evan's life today and from the moment his story began.
Evan is the youngest of the three Ransom family brothers. He has more energy than the rest of the family put together, but slows down enough to give out just as many hugs and smiles as he receives.
He came into this world eight weeks early. Something wasn't right with his stomach, and after some testing, doctors told Marty and Greg their son had Cystic Fibrosis.
Greg quickly looked up CF on his phone and said what he read, "scared me to death."
Cystic Fibrosis is a hereditary disease that affects a person's lung and pancreas. A person with CF must do hours of treatments and take dozens of pills daily to stay healthy. To this point, the average lifespan of a person with CF is about 40 years.
But the Ransom Family doesn't focus on that number because new medications are pushing the lifespan average even higher.
So instead of dwelling on any of the facts Greg looked up on the Internet that first day in the hospital, they've thrown their energy into fundraising for a cure. Both teachers, Marty and Greg are also getting their schools in on the awareness too.
At home, Evan doesn't yet know he's any different. His brothers take a big part in this, even sitting with him during vest treatments to help pass the time.
I imagine that even one day when Evan fully realizes what Cystic Fibrosis is and the reasons behind his medications... he will remain that same energetic, smiling person; full of life and ready to tackle any challenge.
Because I believe that motto "I am a fighter" won't just describe the first four years of Evan's life - but every year after it too.
You can help find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis by donating to the foundation: https://metrodc.finestcff.org/ellenbryan.