Hi, It's Sandy... I want to start by thanking you. Thank you for taking the time to read my story and thank you for caring enough to share my story with others. It's very difficult and emotional for me to write this out. I just hope that at the end of this fundraiser, we could raise awareness and give some hope to the hopeless. This fundraiser is for myself and all the beautiful people who are suffering from this disease.
To keep it really simple, the first $8000 will help fund my past due rent, bills, and future medical supplies/devices needed to help me breathe. The remaining (fingers crossed) will be donated to The American Lung Association and The PAP Foundation.
To make this fundraiser interesting, I will be giving away merch as a token of my appreciation. This includes stickers, pins, T-Shirts, and other cool goodies. (Depending on your size donations, merch may vary and supplies are limited) Did I mention these will be original artwork?! It's a surprise!
My Journey with PAP:
On July 28th, 2022 I was diagnosed with Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis (PAP), a rare autoimmune lung disease affecting only a few people globally. There's no cure, just treatments.
Looking back, my symptoms began in 2020 during the height of covid-19. (NO, I did not catch covid nor is this associated with covid). I didn't think much of it. I was out of breath and couldn't keep up with my friends during "normal" activities. I thought it was just because I was "getting old" or wasn't "active enough".
By September of 2021, I couldn't complete a full sentence without being out of breath. I had tightening chest pains, and a fast heart rate, I became fatigued, and I had an excessive cough that didn't go away. My symptoms worsen and I became desperate for help.
By April 2022, I had seen multiple Lung Specialists. I went through 6+ covid tests (all negative), 4 blood tests (still in counting), 2 x-rays, 1 CT scan, and 3 asthma prescriptions. And yet, I had no answers.
Fast forward to July 28th I was hospitalized after a "regular" procedure that went horribly wrong. My right lung collapsed. I remember waking up to 8-12 doctors hovering over my body. I felt a lot of pressure on my chest... but I knew I was fine. I was okay.
After the doctors informed me about my rare lung disease, I quickly fell into depression overnight. My self-esteem took a huge hit after learning I'll have to use supplemental oxygen for support. And treatment will be my only option. My life changed forever.
So here we are! After weeks of recovery and treatments, I'm feeling fine. Although I wish things were different and "back to normal", I wouldn't change the experience for the world. I found myself re-evaluating life all over again. My way of thinking is absolutely different. My heart is filled with love and gratitude knowing that I have friends and family that support my lung journey. And I'm positive THAT'S ALL IT MATTERS.
(Fellow PAP Member)