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Rebecca's story

After 19 years, I was finally able to take a breath of fresh air.

From as young as I can remember, I had been preparing for this day. It was always known to me, that it would come around at some point in my life. The only thing I wasn't prepared for was that I would have to face this path at the age of 18.

I was told that I had a maximum of two years to live. I was born with the chronic and debilitating lung disease, cystic fibrosis. By definition, cystic fibrosis affects mostly your lungs, pancreas, liver, intestines, sinuses and sex organs.

CF causes your mucus to be thick and sticky. The mucus clogs the lungs, causing breathing problems and making it easy for bacteria to grow. Difficulty breathing is the most serious symptom and results from frequent lung infections that are treated with, though not cured by, antibiotics and other medications. By my definition, it does all of that and so much more.

I received a call that changed my life. I received a double lung transplant that night and have been living my life to the absolute fullest since.

I am so thankful and so grateful to my donor family for giving me such a precious gift, the gift of life. Because after 19 years, I was finally able to take a breath of fresh air. And I've never felt better.


Nicky Burton