CF Mom in Charge. Rest Easy.

It was an afternoon in the middle of September in the state of Kansas, in the city of Andover, on North Maize Road. I should have been aware of the spunk and tenacity that would encompass the ladies with whom I was about to have lunch with. My mother, a Cystic Fibrosis mom, was also born and raised in Kansas.

I found the personality of CF mother, Karey Hudson Padding, to be as bold as the black and white striped blouse she fashioned, as she greeted me in the brightly-lit entrance of the daytime eatery, renowned for serving cage-free eggs, Yoder sausage and bacon, and Homemade Pop Tarts. After receiving her warm, midwestern greeting, I was escorted to meet her Cystic Fibrosis partners in crime. 

Seated at a rectangular, wooden-planked table in the back of the restaurant were two ladies, both of whom had hearts close to our cause. One of the ladies was Missy Norton. A pharmacist, a CF Wine Opener Candidate, who had raised $30K for CF in 2019, which earned her the title of Wichita’s Finest Candidate fighting to cure Cystic Fibrosis. The other was Lyndsey Buzzard, also a pharmacist. Her resume includes a residency at the CF clinic in Oklahoma, a supporter of the local CF clinic, a finalist in that same Wichita’s Finest Candidate contest, and a potential recruit to the Wichita Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Board of Directors. 

Karey, the Wichita CFF President, knows talent when she sees it.

I was about to be seated at a table made up of CF power brokers. I was indeed humbled and in true awe. Thankfully, the three ladies allowed me a seat at their table.

The passion these ladies show for the cause is remarkable. To take the time away from their lives to battle against a disease that affects 30,000 individuals in this country is nothing short of inspiring. Needless to say, the passion and leadership diaplayed by these three women in Wichita, Kansas, in regards to CF, also makes plays hugely into their rolls in their mid-American community.

I learned that not only does Karey fight in the boardroom and in the community for those who have Cystic Fibrosis, but she also does so at home. In addition to her many tasks and jobs, she and her husband, Mark, are the parents of 10-year-old, Gavin, who lives not only with CF, but also with Autism. 

It can only be imagined how much impact and benefit Karey brings to her local CF community, given she encounters and conquers CF each and every day with Gavin.

The outstanding medical care Karey and Mark provide for Gavin is evident, as showcased by the fact that his only hospitalization occurred to treat bronchitis when he was a year old. Further, Gavin’s x-rays at the time of our lunch showed nothing but clean lungs. This is what happens for a Warrior when his mother is a CF Power Broker.

Focusing so much on Gavin, I have neglected to mention that Karey and her husband also have 7-year-old triplets. Clearly, CF Power Brokers are adept at parenting more than just Cystic Fibrosis Warriors.

To sum up my luncheon experience with these accomplished ladies, I refer to a quote that states, “If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.” I believe I found in the middle of the country, those busy people for which that statement was created.

With that, Cystic Fibrosis in this Kansas town is in good hands. Rest easy.


Help Others Live STRONGER and LONGER- 



Rod Spadinger, 48, has Cystic Fibrosis. Born and raised in Hawaii, he moved to Dallas, Texas, where he underwent a double lung and liver transplant in August 2017. From the age of four, until he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis as a junior in high school, he ran at least five miles a day to keep his lungs clean. In 2019, and into early this year, he journeyed to connect with fellow Cystic Fibrosis patients throughout the United States, having driven over 26,000 miles with these travels. Inspired by The Lord and his angel donor, Joni Marie, who provided him with her gifts of life, Rod published the memoirs of his post-transplant journey, and celebration of this second life, in the book “A Collection of 50 Stories Inspired by my Ange Donor, Joni Marie”. He is currently compiling a subsequent publication, primarily consisting of documenting his road trip encounters with fellow CF Warriors. Rod also Co-Founded and is the Executive Director of a CF focused non-profit organization, CF Vests for Life Foundation (  Connect with him on Facebook under his name, and on Facebook at Cystic Fibrosis Artists; Two New Lungs, One New Liver – A Year and Beyond with Cystic Fibrosis; Cystic Fibrosis Road Warrior – Ashleigh’s Life Foundation; and CF Vests for Life Foundation.



***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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