STROLO Star: Rosie Grossbaum

Posted by: 
Julie Winn

May is Cystic Fibrosis Awareness month. It’s a time to shine the light on cystic fibrosis (CF) and educate others. Cystic fibrosis is a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time. CF is a complex disease, with many layers, and it affects everyone with the disease differently.

CF Awareness month is also a time to share people’s individual stories and share their perspective on life, and life with CF. A few weeks ago CFLF’s Executive Director, Brian Callanan, and CFLF’s Tiffany McDaniel, and myself, had the pleasure of interviewing our STROLO Star of the Season for Spring 2021, Rosie Grossbaum.

Rosie is a sixteen year old from New Jersey. She’s a dancer, a student, and she also lives with cystic fibrosis. Rosie is a nine-time CFLF grant receipient who received her first Recreation Grant in 2011.

In this blog post I’m sharing just a short excerpt from our interview with Rosie, and I would encourage you to watch the full interview below.

Brian: How did you first get into dance?

Rosie: My mother knew how important it was for me to move and be active so she signed me up to do dance and I’ve been doing it ever since.

Brian: Do you remember how old you were (when you got into dance?)

Rosie: I think I was three.

Tiffany: How has exercise impacted your health?

Rosie: It keeps me strong and it keeps me healthy and I can see my PFT’s and how it really makes an impact. I know people who are not as active and their PFT’s are probably not the same. And you can stay strong and it makes you feel good, so you can really see the difference when you stay active. I’ve seen it in myself, over COVID I was not as active, and I can see how much it makes a difference.

Julie: During these difficult times, how have you stayed positive?

Rosie: I try to keep a positive mindset. I look at the bright side of things. I grew up with this saying that we’ve learnt since we were babies, “Think good and it will be good,” and keep a positive mindset, you can see the physical outcome. When you live life with a happy outlook on everything it’s so much better, because why would you want to be sad all the time? People want to be with happy people and they want to help happy people. And you want to be happy. You don’t want to be sad all day, it’s not something you want to spend your time doing. It’s so much harder to be sad. Why be sad when you can be happy and feel better? Just look at the bright side of things and whatever situation happens, try to find what positive thing you can find from it and it really keeps everything moving forward. And look forward, not backwards. What ever happened that was behind you is not as important as what’s happening now, and keep moving.

Brian: Such words of wisdom. Not even most of the adults I know realize that simplistic wisdom. I had a couple thoughts while you were talking, and one was what a good analogy that was with dance and that it’s not a matter of how many times you fall down, but how many times you get back up.

Julie: What are some of the challenges you’ve faced with your CF journey?

Rosie: I don’t really look at them as challenges. I like to just take things in and it’s obviously there for a reason. I have to get up a lot earlier so I can do my therapy. I’ve never been able to go to real camp, because they don’t have doctors and stuff, so I’ve always wanted to do that and haven’t been able to. I have to be focused on eating. The feeding tube is a lot. But honestly I don’t think I would have rather had life without it. So I don’t want to look at these as challenges. I wouldn’t want it any other way. Obviously, I was born like this and it’s what God decided, so it’s the way it has to be and the way it should be, so honestly I'm very happy it’s like this.

Julie: Great answer, what a positive outlook on life.

Brian: Sometimes I’ve shared, with parents especially, that oftentimes I’ve viewed CF as a gift. It’s given me such an appreciation for the beauty of every day, of every moment, and not taking life for granted.

Rosie: It’s given me so much. I’ve gotten so many opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.


Watch the full interview here:





Help Others Live STRONGER and LONGER-




Julie Winn is a long time volunteer turned Communications Coordinator for the CFLF, providing social media and marketing support to the organization. She has attended many of CFLF Fundraising events over the years, and is also active with other non-profit organizations in Vermont. She lives in South Burlington with her spouse and child and enjoys hiking, swimming, traveling and spending time in the great outdoors. 





***Views expressed in the CFLF Blog are those of the bloggers themselves and not necessarily of the Cystic Fibrosis Lifestyle Foundation*** 


***Please speak with your physician before making any changes to your CF management***


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