I am a daughter, sister, wife, mom, grandmother, and friend. I am that person you may look over and see at a stoplight, or pass in a store. My story is modest, I have spent the majority of my life beginning in high school participating in community volunteerism and raising my children.
I was diagnosed with emphysema in 2008 and I was terrified, left mostly on my own to try and figure out how to cope. In 2015 my Dr. gave me two years, told me to get my affairs in order, begin my goodbyes. I took a second to breakdown and feel the full weight of devastation, and then I got angry, very angry, nobody was giving me an expiration date, period. I have always during difficult times sat myself on the floor in front of a mirror and told me to get up, find my strength and move on. I’ve spent my life never accepting no, never allowing someone to tell me or anyone I loved that something could not be done, I am the consummate think outside of the box person and now I needed to find that tenacity for me.
I researched, I read, I asked a million questions. I fought for six months to get into rehab, and I went from sitting on a couch with a potty chair near, and using a walker to get around my home to completing approximately forty to sixty miles a week via treadmill and bike often using a 4% incline, I lift weights, and use tension bands, and I work out at home as well. This opportunity to make a real difference, to help people like me find hope and strength, to help change the narrative is both humbling and exciting. I am honored to be given this moment at this time in my life.
My proudest COPD moment is having several people at rehab tell me I inspire them to believe in themselves and to never give up. It was a humbling yet proud experience.
As a State Captain I hope to inspire those struggling with all the questions and changes they are facing, to bring positive awareness to communities which struggle with understanding what COPD is, and to work with local and state officials to improve COPD policy.
My inspirational quote to share is; “think outside of the box, never give up, hug with joy and often."-MCF