Bounding Toward Health

Fall 1997

Under her Christmas tree last year, Michelle Jones found a pogo stick. Michelle, a 10-year-old fifth grader who was diagnosed with CF at two months of age, was delighted. She took the stick outside and experimented with it on and off for a few months. But it wasn't until early spring that she noticed her neighbor also had a pogo stick. The two started to challenge each other. At first each girl did one pogo jump, then two, and so on. Now they are both able to bounce their way to 371 pogo jumps! The unexpected benefit, says Mary Jones, Michelle's mom, was airway clearance! Mary noticed that Michelle would cough up more sputum after a good long jumping spree. She feels certain that the jumping is helping to dislodge more mucus. Most importantly, it is fun, so Mary doesn't have to nag Michelle to do it. In fact, she awakes to see Michelle out on her stick at 7 A.M., all red in the face and exhilarated with her accomplishment. And the best news is that Michelle's latest sputum culture came back completely clear! This is good news indeed for a little girl who was hospitalized and on oxygen just two short years ago. Perhaps pogo sticks should be covered by insurance!

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