I am Alexis Stansbury, I am 31 years old and am active on the double lung transplant list at the University of Minnesota, Fairview. I have a disease called Cystic Fibrosis. One that isn’t heard of often, but is one very serious genetic disease. CF affects many vital organs in my body: my lungs, stomach, kidneys, and pancreas, and more continue to be affected as I get older. My lungs have been affected the most. CF affects the cells that produce mucus, which means I have problems digesting food and produce thick mucus in the lungs that is very difficult to expel. Instead of acting like a lubricant, the secretion plugs up tubes, ducts and passageways especially in the lungs and pancreas. Not only are the lungs affected, so is the stomach and pancreas. In order to digest my food I take 6 pills, called “enzymes” that help digest my food. Due to poor absorption of fatty vitamins, I suffer from poor weight gain, vitamin deficiencies, and diabetes. Now as of January 16th, 2016 I was blessed enough to have recieved a double lung transplant!
Within 24 hours, the universe spoke. In one day, my husband got a job offer closer to my transplant center, found us a place to live, and that evening i got the call for my new lungs. As a side note, my Father had recently passed away after a long, painful 2 year battle with cancer, he was my rock, but the comfort I got from knowing I such a strong force behind me, a guardian angel, so to speak, made my journey that much easier and made me fight that much harder. I made him a promise, and I stick to my word! So here I am post transplant, feeling amazing, singing my lungs off, taking the deepest breaths I can and being beyond grateful to my donor, their family, my amazing support system and all the love in my life. It's so beautiful and I'm so grateful. The fight is so worth it and I'll never stop. Thank you, from the deepest bottom of my little heart!
The Children's Organ Transplant Association (COTA) helps children and young adults who need a life-saving transplant by providing fundraising assistance and family support. COTA is the nation’s only fundraising organization solely dedicated to raising life-saving dollars in honor of transplant-needy children and young adults. 100% of each contribution made to COTA in honor of our patients helps meet transplant-related expenses. COTA’s services are free to our families, and gifts to COTA are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.