Growing up my dreams were simple: I wanted to be a professional bowler and I wanted to be a sports broadcaster and play-by-play commentator.
I wasn’t diagnosed with NF until my freshman year of high school. Graduating high school, earning an Associate's degree, being recognized by Dutchess Radio as the Club MVP for the 2014-2015 school year, being named New York State Youth Leader of the Year in Bowling, bowling my first 300 game, and completing my first 800 series with an 801, these are some of the happiest moments of my life.
But, a big struggle for me, when I was first diagnosed, was getting the school work done to make it to the next grade. I was in and out of class up until my junior year of high school. But at the end of the day, I got all the work done and still graduated on time with the rest of my friends.
My advice to the NF community is not to let NF control you. You might have limitations, but don’t let them hold you back from chasing your dreams. If someone makes fun of you, don't let it ruin your day. Instead, channel the negative comments and strive to reach your goals and where you want to be in life.
NF may be a disease I have but it’s not an obstacle that has gotten in the way of my career path. I’m studying broadcast journalism with a concentration in sports media. I don’t let NF hold me back.
Lawrence Lang, 23 years old, lives with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1). He is a student at Marist College and bowls in two leagues.