Kristina de Bree
Now 29, Kristina has dealt with cystic fibrosis (CF) from her earliest days. When she transferred to adult care at age 19, she struggled to find a clinic that could help her live a positive and healthy life with CF.
In 2007, she found pulmonologist Dr. Richard Belkin with Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. “I have never found a more talented diagnostician, big-hearted caregiver and brilliant physician,” says Kristina, who travels from Valencia to see him. “Dr. Belkin shared his dream of opening a Santa Barbara CF clinic years ago, and I am so grateful to be a part of this venture.”
At the same time, Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital “has been equally incredible” in its quality of care, she says.
After earning a graduate degree in clinical psychology from Pepperdine University, Kristina established a practice in Valencia offering psychotherapy services to people with chronic and terminal illness. “My health is flourishing, and I have never felt better!"
Diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF) at birth, Elizabeth began commuting an hour and a half from Granada Hills to see Dr. Richard Belkin in 2011, when she was in her early 20s.
While she had lived a very active life growing up, her health seriously declined as she reached her junior year of college. Elizabeth eventually returned to an active life that includes yoga, running, hiking and dancing. She still sees Dr. Belkin every three months for post-transplant care. “I could not have done it without Dr. Belkin. He was there every step of the way. There are so many patients that need his kind of care. Dr. Belkin just makes life easier.”