(Editors’ Note: The following is an expression of thanks by Reza AliAkbari, an Iranian teenager who visited the United States for treatment of cystic fibrosis under the auspices of Wi-ACT, an interfaith organization of 10 faith institutions in Wilton. The group helped Reza come here for treatment by Wi-ACT member Dr. Hossein Sadeghi and his medical team. His experience was profiled in a story entitled Team helps provide much-needed cystic fibrosis treatment, which may be read at http://bit.ly/1RVYKLq.)

In the name of God Dear ladies and gentleman, I first have to begin by thanking God for bestowing his bountiful mercies on me, for allowing me to stand in front of you this evening, and for giving me the opportunity to travel across two continents to receive treatment, which was always far from reality for me.

I would like to also thank the honorable Senator Blumenthal and the New York Law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore who worked vigorously to obtain my visa to allow this dream to come true.

And a sincere, most heartfelt thank you to Dr. Hossein Sadeghi and his wife who are two extremely compassionate individuals that have never left my side during all my hardships, since I first met them last year. Their presence motivated me to attend school and continue my day-to-day activities with optimism, that I never had.

Now, when I return back home this Sunday, after receiving three weeks of treatments, I will no longer be upset because I know with the assistance of Dr. Sadeghi I will be able to look forward to a bright future, a future that I always thought of, but never imagined to be possible for me. I am now confident that I will work hard on my long lost aspiration of becoming a distinguished doctor, that one day I will also be able to help save someone's life. I will no longer be upset when others look at me differently and feel bad for my condition because I am now dedicated to create a life for myself encompassed in happiness and success.

I would like to kindly ask each and every one of you who has graciously assisted during my stay, to continue your good deeds in providing care for others who need these resources to survive.

I am extremely appreciative of the scientists who have worked hard to create these medications for cystic fibrosis patients, including myself, to be able to function.

If all these events had taken place two years sooner, perhaps my older brother, Ramin, who also had cystic fibrosis, and unfortunately passed away at age 22 due to the lack of medical supplies and proper treatments, would have been among us today.

In conclusion, my father and I and my entire family would like to thank all the generous individuals from the Wilton Interfaith group that provided delicious meals, and transportation to and from the hospital.  

In addition, I would like to thank Dr. Sadeghi’s cystic fibrosis team, that have assisted in my well-being. Looking forward to a day when a cure is found for every cystic fibrosis patient!
Reza AliAkbari