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Despite challenges, Alpha Terry Nickerson determined to keep climbing

Despite challenges, Alpha Terry Nickerson determined to keep climbing
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Terry Nickerson likes to quote American pop singer Frankie Laine’s version of “You Gave Me a Mountain,” from 1969. The song ends: So this time, Lord, you gave me a mountain A mountain I may never climb And it isn’t a hill any longer You gave me a mountain this time   But Nickerson is determined to climb it.   He started facing hills at a very young...
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Recovering after lung transplant, Kansas Alpha-1 activist Julie Swanson feels ‘truly blessed’

Recovering after lung transplant, Kansas Alpha-1 activist Julie Swanson feels ‘truly blessed’
Friday, February 6, 2015
Julie Swanson got the call on Saturday morning in late January. The next day, Jan. 25, she received a double-lung transplant after what her mother, Peggy Paul, described as “18 long months” on the waiting list. Swanson, of Olathe, Kansas, well-known in the Alpha-1 community for her activism and support group leadership over more than 20 years, is healing at Barnes Jewish...
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‘Let It Breathe’ fundraiser in March celebrates memory of Alpha Michael Ratner

‘Let It Breathe’ fundraiser in March celebrates memory of Alpha Michael Ratner
Thursday, February 5, 2015
Ilysse and Josh Ratner were standing outside The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, NJ, waiting for the valet to bring their car around when a gust of wind hit their backs. "You feel this?" Josh asked his sister. "That’s dad finally breathing." On that spring morning April 18, 2005, a brother and sister lost their father, Michael Ratner of River Vale, NJ, to Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency,...
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Alpha Daryl Kunz draws strength from community, cycling

Alpha Daryl Kunz draws strength from community, cycling
Friday, December 19, 2014
What if your passion preserved your life? Would you think about it differently, even to the point of making it a priority? For Daryl Kunz, whose passion for 20 years has been cycling, these questions are more than rhetorical musings. Every year, Daryl covers thousands of miles and competes in ultra-distance races in which he’s won a handful of medals. For an amateur, though, it’s...
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Lucky 13: Alpha celebrates transplant anniversary in midst of Awareness Month

Lucky 13: Alpha celebrates transplant anniversary in midst of Awareness Month
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Deborah Labud was 36 years old, living in Virginia and working as a waitress when she began having trouble breathing. The shortness of breath hit when she stood up, tried to climb stairs or carried trays at work. “I got misdiagnosed with bronchitis a lot,” said Labud, now 59 and living in Gainesville. Labud, who has participated in the Transplant Games of America since...
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‘This is for every Alpha out there,’ Virginia woman says of Awareness Month proclamation

‘This is for every Alpha out there,’ Virginia woman says of Awareness Month proclamation
Friday, November 14, 2014
Sherry Gochenour, of Rockingham County, VA, was once a runner. Diagnosed with Alpha-1 three years ago, “now I can’t even walk to the mailbox,” she said in an interview broadcast Thursday on WHSV TV-3. In the interview, Gochenour and her husband spoke about the experience of living with Alpha-1, but also showed it, allowing the news crew to film her weekly...
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Heleen Groen, of Amsterdam, tells about her long, life-threatening route to treatment

Heleen Groen, of Amsterdam, tells about her long, life-threatening route to treatment
Friday, August 15, 2014
Heleen Groen, 40, of Amsterdam, Netherlands, is an Alpha who has severe necrotizing panniculitis, a painful skin infection often accompanied by a rash, inflammation and skin ulcers. She shares her experience of growing up with Alpha-1 and the long road to treatment here. I was an energetic child, but when I was 6, my parents received a call from my school, telling them I couldn’t...
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Florida police officer carries Alpha flag on climb up Mount Rainier

Florida police officer carries Alpha flag on climb up Mount Rainier
Friday, August 15, 2014
Dorothea “Dee” Meisner is a police officer in Cocoa, Florida. At age 55, she’s been working in law enforcement for 20 years. Till very recently she was a street cop, patrolling her city beat alone in a squad car. Meisner has lung disease due to Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency. Meisner, who never smoked in her life, was diagnosed 10 years ago with chronic obstructive pulmonary...
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