Helen “Cathy” Gould was diagnosed with Alpha-1 in 1999 after her health declined so rapidly that she was forced to retire. As she began weekly IV injections, Gould decided to become an Alpha-1 Support Group leader, hoping to inspire others.
Then Gould stumbled upon the Silver Sneakers Fitness Program; it completely changed her life. She began biking three to five times a week and using weight machines. Even though her FEV-1 score was only 28% on her lung function test, her overall health has improved immensely because of Silver Sneakers.
Gould wrote a poem inspired by the Silver Sneakers Fitness Program.
Life: A Breath Away
by Cathy Gould
I don’t think you can tell I am an Alpha-1
Unless you catch me on the run
I search for air every moment in my day
Until there is a cure there is no other way
But I am not discouraged or full of woe
Because of all the wonderful people I
Have got to know
We share our stories, our hopes, our dreams
And blend right into the scheme of things
Each day is a special joy to see
We are in awe of God’s artistry
We smell the roses, enjoy the rain
And spread our love again and again
To have life each day is our success
More time to spread our happiness
So don’t get down, hold your head up high
Dream your dreams, reach for the sky
It may take more time for us to accomplish things
But in the end we know the pride it brings
So all you Alpha-1’s out there,
Try to take a deep breath, smell the air
Then go on with your day, it’s waiting there.