ATLANTA — Andy Lipman's story is one that 11Alive has frequently followed over the years. The Atlanta local runner is an author, dad and advocate, who hits the pavement for the AJC Peachtree Road Race each year.
Lipman has defied the odds when it comes to the life expectancy of those suffering from cystic fibrosis.
But his message in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic sparked a viral reaction over the need for social distancing.
"This post is mostly directed at people who've said they want to live freely and hang out with groups at their leisure," Lipman's Facebook post reads, "because they're not in their sixties and don't have any chronic health issues. I promise you those actions will cause the spread of this virus to people around you whose bodies aren't strong enough to fight it."
Lipman, author of The CF Warrior, captured the attention of thousands online with his urgency. His post has been shared more than three thousand times.
"I think a lot of people especially in my situation with chronic illness, cystic fibrosis or any chronic illness...they wanted someone to talk from their side," Lipman told 11Alive. "We're just saying if someone goes out, regardless if you're symptom-less or not, and they come home and give it to one of us…we could die from it."
Prior to the spread of COVID-19, Lipman already had a strenuous daily routine for keeping his lungs healthy, including 30 to 40 pills, several treatments and an extensive workout. His wife and children now join him at home in social distancing. But despite the confines of home, his plea to the public is heard online, echoing others who are especially vulnerable to COVID-19.
"Let's stand together by staying home," Lipman concludes. "So that one day, coronavirus stops being a virus and starts being a memory. This may not be the life you want, but your sacrifice will allow others like me to live the lives we need."
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