The purpose is to share with you Web Surfers out
there, my family, friends, and thoughts. We have all traveled roads and open seas of
life.....some smooth and others full of rocks and tossing waves. But without our family,
friends and shipmates...we'd never make it in this world...I wish to share some of them
with you in these pages which follow.........
I have what's known as Alpha-1 Antitrypsin
Alpha-1 is a genetic condition that can cause
severe early onset emphysema, liver disease in both children and adults, or more rarely, a
skin condition called panniculitis. With A1AD in infants, it causes neonatal
cirrhosis of the liver, which is sometimes fatal. In adults, A1AD can lead to pulmonary
emphysema and or cirrhosis of the liver. The liver produces a protein that protects the
lung from germs, dust, and air pollution is lacking or in very short supply. The lack of
this protein allows enzymes called protease's to dissolve the walls of tiny air sacs,
creating emphysema. Learning early about how to make good lifestyle changes to avoid the
triggers that add fuels to fire of liver/lung damage. Such things as Smoking, drinking,
hair sprays, perfumes/after shave, gas, grain dusts, paints, solvents, and even lawn care
products and insecticides, etc.
For me, Alpha-1 and the many ship's
deployments, jet fuels, paints, and many other environmental components over 20 years in
the Navy and before that while working on farms, etc, added to the destruction of my
lungs. At age 35 I was told I had lungs of an 80 (eighty!) year old man with 5 years
maybe.. But I'm a "Chief" and that was over 16 years ago. Naturally, if you
smoke, or are breathing in second-hand smoke, it's just going to destroy your lungs that
much faster, and if you have liver problems, drinking sure isn't helping your "future
health care". A1AD was first identified in 1963 and usually found in individuals of
Northern European descent. A1AD is believed to affect as many as 100,000 people, making it
one of the most common serious genetic diseases. So here's my Web Site. I hope you enjoy
my first attempt at this, but most importantly, that you'll come away with a learning
experience of my appreciation for my family, my God and country, my shipmates, and the
World's Finest Navy! Stay well!
After 2 1/2 years on waiting list for a
"Gift of Life", I received by the Grace of God, a Single Right Lung at Fairfax
INOVA Hospital, early a.m. 5 February 2000!!!
waiting and, now. Brother Chuck, me, Wife
Betty, Daughter Amy and her super hubby Derek on day 6 after transplant and being released
from hospital staying at apartment INOVA has for it's patients.