At the age of 27, I started having symptoms of a disease that went undiagnosed for three years. At Seven months pregnant with my first child, i was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary Fibrosis, a terminal disease with no treatment and no cure.
After many years of attempting to carry on my very active and busy life with 50% lung capacity (including having my second child), my lungs began to rapidly decline. I had to admit that the disease was winning and that only a transplant would save my life.
After an evaluation, i was listed for transplant. About nine months later i was given the gift of life and breath, thanks to my donor and an amazing medical staff. I give thanks every single day for the opportunity to be here with my family, especially my two kids who were in 2nd grade and preschool at the time of my surgery.
I am an active volunteer in their schools and sports programs. In sharing m story, i hope to create awareness of the disease that threatened my life and takes the lives of 40,000 people annually in the U.S.
Giving to my community through gardening programs and public education and awareness of the importance of organ and tissue donation, has been very fulfilling. I strive to make my family and my donor’s family proud with all I do and how I live my life.