About: January 28, 2015


Exploring lungs for Lysa is a proactive conversation to help you gain insight to where I’ve been, what happened, and  what it’s like now.  My blog originated as my first English101 writing assignment, in my first semester of college, January 2015.  6 weeks into the semester I got really sick.  21 days in the hospital sick and out of school for the remaining 9 weeks of classes. This blog became so much more than just an English assignment- It became my lifeline to friends, family, and followers.  I went from “not being sick enough” for lung transplant surgery to “Oh my gosh, I hope I don’t die”.  So hang on! Reading this blog is going to be a wild ride!

Warning! The video presentation above is intense, over the top, and motivating- it could be considered extreme but so is my life. Topics of my blog range from rare diseases, organ donation/transplantation, being positive in a negative world,  and living your dreams despite extreme circumstances, .

Welcome to my world!  I believe that every day of life is preparation, experience, and a new opportunity to not just exist but to excel, pursue goals, and enjoy life despite any obstacle. Why settle for “ordinary” when you can have EXTRA-ordinary?

When I was a kid and people would ask me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I wanted to be a Zoologist.  As high school graduation approached, I became painfully aware that I was NOT a big fan of school! At 17 years old  I saw a picture of Ms Olympia- Cory Everson and decided at that moment I wanted to look just like her- a champion!  I entered the world of bodybuilding and fitness.  IT became my passion, my life, and my world!

 At age 32 I was diagnosed with a rare, genetic disease called Alpha1 Antitrypsin Deficiency and  had a  lung function of 38%.  There is no cure, and I will need a double lung transplant in order to stay alive.   I asked the Dr., “Just tell me right now. What do i have to look forward too?”.  His response was,  “Well…Nothing”.  My parents were devastated! Me? I had bigger plans.  I may be 100lbs soaking wet but I am a BEAST!  I continued to train and compete until 2010 when my physical condition hit an all time low and honestly, so did the hope and excitement of pursuing the dreams I had for my life.

The past 5 years have been a difficult period of change physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Currently with a lung function of somewhere between 15 and 20%,  I find myself in a weird place between what i used to do, what i want to do, and asking myself daily- what am I realistically “capable” to do?  I have had to re-evaluate and change my thinking, my goals, my dreams, and my life!

On January 2, 2015 I had the privilege  to experience my childhood dream of being behind the scenes at a zoo and being up close and personal with an animal I admire and respect and whose life somewhat resembles my own in a way, strong, powerful,  and almost extinct! A BEAST. He is an Indian rhino and his name is PJ.

 An old spark had been reignited and a new dream came into view!

My blog is intended to be a resource of education, awareness, and discussion, and most importantly a plethora of hope!  I want people to look at me and say “Because of you, i never gave up!” and I hope that after double lung transplant I will not only have a second chance at my own life but hopefully make it possible for rhinos and other African mammals facing extinction to also have a second chance to thrive!

19 thoughts on “About: January 28, 2015”

  1. You are such an inspiration, and I am so proud to be able to call you my friend. I have watched you go thru some of the most difficult times anyone could ever imagine. I have seen you at the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. The way you have come thru it all with such grace & determination is something we can all learn from. Never lose that smile…I love you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Jenn! My cry scale is as follows…. 1-10. anything sadder than a 4- I will cry. anything happier than a 7- i will cry. Your post just hit me at about a 12 on my scale. Can you hand me a tissue? 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Lysa Lou…I came upon this accidentally @2days ago and I readily admit to intense feelings of shock and admiration. First, your writing ability is exceptional. It allowed me a few moments the privledge of knowing “you”…in a way I’ve felt deprived of for far too long. Your unique ability of being able to pull people to you…..allow us to entet and feel our way around your reality has been both a blessing and a treat, while at the same time sending out a signal causing me to feel alarm and horror all emeshed with a lifetime of pride and unconditional love for you. I readily admit that the scope of your illness terrifies me but how you present yourself handling a myriad of impossible possibilities awakens my spirit and I feel an abundance of that pride in the love of my life….this person who is my Lysa Lou…I love you….as always. Keep on keeping on….Aunt Nancy

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow. This is amazing! I think this blog will be an inspiration and motivation to any reader. It will make people who live with a disease feel better about themselves and have hope and people who aren’t sick will feel just as motivated. Like a “if she can do it…why can’t I?” Lysa you’ve always been an inspiration to me and many others and more people deserve to have someone like you writing to them and for them. Keep up the great work!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very inspiring – about not giving up when faced with a setback – and a big inspiration! I hope things work out! You’re a great writer, and for sure this blog will be a motivation and inspiration for everybody who reads it. – Fatima

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for bringing Alpha-1 to the world’s attention. There are a lot of individuals (and entire families) that are struggling with this disorder AND the medical costs associated with trying to keep our Alpha as healthy as possible. My husband was diagnosed nearly 10 years ago and immediately went on weekly infusions. He has had many set backs, exacerbations, and rounds of antibiotics; however, his FEV (lung function) has stayed relatively stable. We are thankful for that. He still rides his motorcycle, is involved in many volunteer activities, and will hopefully be ordained as a Deacon in the Catholic Church in about a year and a half. He has never let his disease define him or what he will do for others. God bless you and your journey. I will be following your blog closely and adding you to my prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. you could actually learn a few things Kevin if you could learn how to change your mind from being a glass half empty to a glass half full kinda person. You will feel better and your life will be SO much better! Its a choice though, nobody is gonna do it for ya. Best of luck to you. ~L


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