Producing laughs

JONATHAN BUSS ’94 is an Emmy Award-winning film and TV producer and director who recently directed a promotional video for the Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds movie, The Change-Up.  Jonathan has produced and directed a number of specials for TV and film, including Everybody Loves Raymond, Pirates of the Caribbean, Blackhawk Down, Bridesmaids, and You’ve Got Mail. He holds an MFA in film from USC and has been involved with the Slane College of Communications and Fine Arts’ L.A. Expedition since 1995. Jonathan lives in Los Angeles.


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Taking diagnosis in stride


During the spring of my junior year at Bradley, I started noticing changes in my body after undergoing emergency gallbladder surgery. Though I’d always had an active lifestyle, climbing to the top floor of Bradley Hall left me gasping for breath. After sitting for hours editing copy for The Scout, the moment I stood, coughing began. Half of class periods were spent in fits of coughs, simply by moving after sitting too long. I found it necessary to come equipped with a water bottle and mints to keep my attacks contained.

After graduating in 2009 with a journalism degree and completing internships at the Journal Star and the Bradley Admissions Office, doctors’ visits began. The dry, hacking cough continued to become so deep and hard it was impossible to keep anything down. I would wake at night coughing for hours, and I started to cough up cupfuls of mucus daily, simply by laughing or lying down too long.

I started to feel like a pincushion as every month I had blood work, checking my elevated enzyme levels. Since my gallbladder was removed, there was no explanation as to why my liver enzymes remained at an abnormal level, almost double the normal range. Puzzled, my hometown doctor in Geneseo sent me to a pulmonary disease specialist who attributed my irritating cough to exercise-induced asthma, allergies, sinus drainage, and reflux. However, the regiment of inhalers prescribed didn’t calm the cough. 

Unable to diagnose me, my gastroenterologist sent me to Iowa City. Two doctors later, they discovered I have a fatty liver and pancreas and suggested I have a sweat chloride test.

Within days I was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. I spent two weeks in Iowa City receiving treatment and undergoing an orientation to manage my life with this disease. I didn’t realize how the diagnosis would affect my daily life. I take between 15 and 20 pills daily, use a vibrating vest for chest therapy, and do breathing treatments twice a day for up to 45 minutes.

Though time consuming, my new daily routine has been worthwhile. The constant cough is gone, and I have more energy and strength. I take everything in stride while I continue to journal about my experience and search for a career in journalism. I hope to write a children’s book about cystic fibrosis, as I will continue to battle the disease breath by breath. 

Going for Google

PATRICK CAMPBELL ’10 is an account strategist at Google’s office in Cambridge, Mass. “I wanted to learn from a company that was revolutionizing its industry and also the way America does business,” he said. Originally from Jackson, Wis., Patrick was a member of the Bradley Speech Team and a national champion in oratory. He interned as an intelligence analyst at the National Security Agency and for Newt Gingrich at American Enterprise Institute. He lives in Cambridge.