Location Select your location

LUNG FORCE
 
  • Share this page:

LUNG FORCE Heroes

Nicole D

Nicole D sitting on the beach in a blue shirt, smiling

My name is Nicole, I'm 22 and a recent college graduate. I am a former college cheerleader, an avid runner, a proud alumnus of a sorority, and a huge Cleveland sports fan. I also happen to only have 1 healthy lung.

In July 2015 I was having some trouble breathing and went to the ER expecting a breathing treatment and a new inhaler, but turns out that was not the case. I had a bleb covering the upper lobe of my left lung and it needed to be removed right away. Because of the way the bleb had grown it was shifting my heart and my right lung, resulting in only having about half a normal person's lung capacity. I apparently was born with this abnormality and never knew it. This illness was very uncommon for someone my age and with my active lifestyle, majority of my nurses had never seen something like it. The bleb was removed and my recovery went well, until this February when I learned I have another bleb on the lower lobe of my left lung that they missed the first time. We do not know what this will entail, if I need more surgery, or if this one won't grow like the previous, but it will mean I need to be careful, pay attention, and go to the doctor more often than a normal healthy 22 year old.

It is because of all this that I am asking for your help. As all of this unfolded there were not a lot of answers for my parents as to why this was happening to their seemingly healthy daughter. I had to go through test after test, poked and prodded with needles with tears in my eyes and theirs, wanting to know why this was happening to me and what it would mean for my future. I am participating in the 2016 LUNG FORCE Walk because I want to raise money for all forms of lung disease so there can be more research as to why these things happen, and treatment for them not to continue to happen. Breathing is something all people need to do and should be able to do without any problem, it wasn't until I had this basic need taken from me that I really appreciated how important healthy lungs are. Together we can fight this battle and stomp out lung disease.

  Share this story:
 
Tell your story View all stories Donate

American Lung Association is solely responsible for content.

Hero stories are the point of view of the Hero and not necessarily the American Lung Association. The Lung Association does not endorse any specific provider, facility or treatment.

Support for Share Your Voice provided by Cancer Treatment Centers of America®

About LUNG FORCE

Donate to LUNG FORCE

Get Involved

LUNG FORCE Heroes

Events Near Me

Lung Health Barometer

Media

Sponsors & Supporters

Shop LUNG FORCE

Sign up for updates

Get the latest news and information on the fight against lung cancer and for lung health.

Ask An Expert

Questions about your lung health? Need help finding healthcare? Call 1-800-LUNGUSA.

Get help
We need your generous support

Make a difference by delivering research, education and advocacy to those impacted by lung disease.

What is LUNG FORCE?

LUNG FORCE unites women and their loved ones across the country to stand together in the fight against lung cancer.

Get involved
Join the fight for healthy lungs and healthy air.
Donate Now.