Two Brothers Fight Same Respiratory Disease

Franque Thompson

OMAHA (KPTM)- Two brothers fighting the same disease--cystic fibrosis. It's a respiratory disease that has both of them in the hospital with one brother soon due to have a lung transplant.

14-year-old Jacob Sellhorst loads up his Nerf gun for target practice to pass time at Children's Hospital in Omaha. Jacob and his older brother both suffer from cystic fibrosis.

"I just wish, like, I could be normal like everyone else. Like, living every day, but I can't because I'm always in here," said Jacob.

CF is a respiratory disease. Symptoms can vary, from weight loss to mucus clogging the lungs. Jacob's mom said he doesn't have it as bad as his brother. 23-year-old Chad Sellhorst usually spends his time drawing, but these days he's fighting for his life. Chad will have to get a double lung transplant because his CF is so severe.

"Seems like we're always separated because either he is in the hospital or I'm in the hospital and it's just hard on our family," said Jacob.

Jacob said he's still inspired by his brother to take treatments and fight the disease.

The teen has four, one hour treatments per day. Two of his treatments use percussion so the mucus gets cleared out of his chest and clear his airways.

"There's various other medications that we add at certain points in time depending upon how the kids are doing. Because all of the therapies we have for cystic fibrosis are preventative," said Dr. Heather Thomas, of Children's Hospital.

Jacob's treatment slows his symptoms, so he can stay strong enough to create awareness and send a message to those like him.

"Enjoy every moment of your life because you never know what this disease can do," said Jacob.

The Sellhorst family need help funding Chad's double lung transplant. The Children's Organ Transplant Association has an online account set up for donations at Donations are also accepted by mail at COTA, 2501 West COTA Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403. Make checks payable to COTA, on the memo line, write: In Honor of Chad Sellhorst. For more information, contact