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Catching up with the Ronnenbergs a year after life-changing lung transplant: 'Everything is changing'

Their story is one of hope and education about cystic fibrosis.

Posted: Jan 31, 2020 12:12 AM
Updated: Jan 31, 2020 5:56 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - The viral video of Jennifer Ronnenberg first breathing with her new lungs was viewed by millions but her love story with her husband Rob also caught the attention of producers and the nation when they got married on television. 

At Gray Duck Theater, Jennifer and Rob engaged in a community conversation following a screening of "Five Feet Apart," a film about teenagers who fall in love while battling cystic fibrosis. Since their wedding, Jennifer and Rob have been busy. 

"We were actually able to meet Lacey, our donor's family, we went there in June, and drove down to Kansas to meet her family which is really special, met her parents and her sister, the other exciting thing we got to do is go to Aruba for our honeymoon," Jennifer Ronnenberg said. 

New lungs are giving her new experiences. 

"One big thing she did there was snorkeling which she didn't think was possible because you have to hold your breath and breathe," Rob Ronnenberg said. 

Both are grateful she was given a second chance. 

"The stuff they are talking about is something I never thought I would have to worry about ... a retirement plan or dating or marriage because I never thought I would be around for that long, but here she is, she's here, everything is changing," Rob said. 

Their story is one of hope and education about cystic fibrosis. 

"They see us with our masks on or with oxygen, everything they go to, they don't realize, it's that silent disease you don't really see from the outside until you see us in-patient or see us really, really sick," Jennifer said. 

With its ups and downs - Rob and Jennifer's love story is one-of-a-kind. 

"She amazes me, every single day, takes my breath away, everything she's been through, all the fighting, all the struggling," Rob said. 

The couple is proof happy endings exist. 

The film screening was part of Mayo Clinic's "Bioethics at the Cinema" series. 

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