Why I Write Vol 11: My Megaphone Through a Keyboard
In this series, "Why I Write," members of the Grub community share what compels them to put words onto paper day after day. In this edition, Natasha Kirker writes about being loud in print where she isn't in person.
Initially, in person, I am quiet and reserved. I like to observe the world—listen to people’s words, watch their mannerisms, and collect notions of who they might be. I’ve had a lot of rare experiences in my thirty-two years of life, but I rarely ever share them—usually it’s someone else telling someone else about all the things I’ve gone through. And I just go along, almost as a bystander, while my inspiring story is being told.
I’ve been writing since as far back as I can remember. I was an only child and writing was a good way to create my own worlds and occupy my time, especially because I was a sick child. I was born with cystic fibrosis, a terminal disease that mostly affects the lungs. It was calming to construct my own place to be when I needed exactly that.
I’ve had two double lung transplants, at ages nineteen and twenty-eight, because of what cystic fibrosis had done to my lungs. This hideous disease had slowly killed them, one awful infection at a time. And tragically, unthinkably, in between my transplants I lost my mom to breast cancer—she had been my most powerful incentive to keep fighting.
I write because it’s the only way I feel comfortable telling my story—my megaphone through a keyboard. I write because I want to inspire as many people as I can to never give up. I write to heal others and myself. I write to remember my mom. I write to forget my illness. I write to survive my world. I write to breathe my life.
Natasha spends most of her time looking for a good meal. It is no strange thing for her to get on a plane for food, not before putting on her surgical mask and wiping everything in sight down with Lysol to stave off the germs that could kill her. She has cystic fibrosis and has had two double lung transplants. Other than those minor things she is working on a memoir. She volunteers with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, even though animals are more her thing than children. She lives outside Boston.