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Ellicottville’s Poole to keynote inaugural SBU Occupational Therapy event April 8

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ST. BONAVENTURE — A man whose life had “hit rock bottom” and now serves as inspiration will be the keynote speaker at a special event for the occupational therapy community of Western New York.

Bradley Poole

OT students, faculty and practitioners from area colleges and health care providers are invited to “Living Lives of Purpose” from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, April 8, at St. Bonaventure University’s School of Health Professions.

Sponsored by St. Bonaventure’s Student Occupational Therapy Association, the event will also feature an exposition hall of community resources, product and therapy vendors, and potential employers. To register for the free event, click here or go to www.sbu.edu/OTevent. The registration deadline is March 25.

Bradley Poole, the owner of Warrior Fitness & Wellness in Ellicottville, will talk about coping with cystic fibrosis since childhood and why he turned his life around in his late 20s when “alcohol and partying had begun to consume his life.”

CF is a terminal disease that severely limits lung function over time. Now 34, Poole continues to fight daily to surpass the CF life expectancy of 40.

When his alcohol abuse was causing more frequent hospitalizations, Poole decided he was tired of living with a “poor me attitude” and adopted a “warrior-like mentality” to give him the strength to battle CF. He’s required to do two hours of breathing treatments and take more than 50 pills daily, but that hasn’t curtailed his passion for fitness.

Poole has run a number of ultra marathons to raise money and awareness for CF, including 266 miles over seven days around Cattaraugus County in 2020 and another 100 miles on a four-mile loop through Ellicottville over three days in June 2021.

A testimonial on Poole’s website said: “I have been inspired from the moment I met Brad by his story. A story of perseverance. A story of faith. A story of hope. A story of resilience. … By investing in his health and investing in the service of others that struggle with the same insidious disease, he changed his life and he continues to fight for a solution to this problem. Instead of it being a life sentence, it is a life journey.”

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