“The Miracle Baby of Colorado”

I unexpectedly entered this world three months premature, only weighing 1 pound, 7 ounces. With a collapsed lung, I lived at a Denver hospital until I was 2 years old. In fact, The Rocky Mountain News crowned me as the “Miracle Baby of Colorado”. Because of the ongoing health complications that I faced, doctors approached my parents with a life-changing suggestion; move from Denver to the San Francisco Bay Area.

The thin, cold Colorado air, partnered with the high elevation was expected to negatively affect my quality of life if we stayed put, however, to give me a chance at a normal life, doctors recommended moving to the sunny and warm Bay Area. By 1986, my family packed up and left our home and support system in order to give me a new start.

All throughout my life, doctors would tell me that I would never live to see many major milestones, but I knew that I was going to prove them wrong. I spent most of my childhood and adolescent years attached to an oxygen tank, but by the time I was 15 years old, I was stable enough to enjoy a 10-year gap of living life without one.

By 2010, I was diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension (PH). PH is a rare lung disorder in which the arteries that carry blood from the heart to the lungs become narrowed, making it difficult for blood to flow through the vessels. As a result, the blood pressure in these arteries – called pulmonary arteries – rises far above normal levels. At the time of my diagnosis, I was told that I have two to five years to live, but once again, I knew I was going to prove them wrong with the love and support of my family.

A second chance at life

I am now 38 years old and am awaiting the gift of a second chance at life – a double lung transplant. I have been listed for 5 years at the University of California San Francisco, and as I continue to wait, I stay positive, live my life to the fullest and commit myself to pulmonary rehab which is a requirement for transplant. I also workout three times a week, keeping my body and mind strong as I prepare for a double lung transplant. I am currently using oxygen 24/7, participating in daily breathing treatments, and using a BiPAP machine.

As I patiently wait for the double lung transplant, I find myself grateful enough to be waiting with my boyfriend, Daniel. Daniel and I have been dating for 3 years and not only do we share the same birthday, but we also share the same diagnosis. Because we both have PH, we understand each other better than anyone and always encourage each other to stay positive and to reach our goals together.

My hopes and aspirations

I can’t imagine a day where I am not raising awareness around PH. I hope to inspire people with PH to stay strong, be positive and try to do some sort of physical activity every day. You can follow me and Daniel on Instagram to keep up with our journey, or if you are interested in connecting with others in PH community, I encourage you to check out these resource:

  • PH Association (PHA) – PHA is the largest and oldest pulmonary hypertension 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization with many programs including a network of 200-plus patient and caregiver support groups, lifesaving early diagnosis awareness and education programs, specialty care resources, and research to prevent and cure PH.
  • ph aware –ph aware was founded by people living with PH, caregivers, and medical professionals and is dedicated to elevating the disease by making the public, news media, donors and investors #phaware of pulmonary hypertension.


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