About Natalie:

Natalie was diagnosed with a very rare autoimmune disease. It attacked her lungs and she was

unable to breathe on her own. Anti-synthetase Syndrome (A.S.S.) is extremely rare and can

often be misdiagnosed. It usually presents with other disease such as the case with Natalie. She

also has myositis, Reynaud's and intersistial lung disease. As with all auto-immune diseases there

is no cure only the possibility of control and remission.  Natalie fought very hard for her life

as did many doctors. 


At one time they thought the only thing to save her was a lung transplant. A wonderful doctor

thought the best thing was to get her somewhere else. Her fight at Johns Hopkins continued at

UPMC. But the doctors here said they could save her and would like to try without the lung

transplant. Because unlike other organs when they do a lung transplant the clock starts ticking.

These doctors are pioneers with this disease. They want to save her without a transplant.

Natalie will have to be on anti rejection meds for the rest of her life to keep this insidious

disease at bay. She will be at risk for secondary infections and need to learn how to adjust her

breathing and activity level. They will work at learning what drugs will be the best for

maintaining the best quality of life for her. At the rehab hospital she will learn how to adjust

her lifestyle for her physical restrictions.



Natalie has a wonderful son, Brady. They are each others whole world as she is a

single mother. They are both avid football and baseball fans. All her life she wanted to be a

teacher and for three years was an amazing first grade teacher for Salem Ave, Hagerstown

MD. Thankfully Natalie is home where she can interact with her son and be there to watch him

grow up. The chances of her being able to go back to teaching is slim as she will not be able to

risk the chance of infection or be able to maintain that level of activity. But we all know

Natalie and she is anxious to be a contributing member of society.

 

This 5K race, 1 mile fun walk and kids fun run is one way that we can help Natalie focus on her

treatment, her son and their future.  With your help we can take a little pressure off of Natalie

and her family as they work hard to give Natalie what she needs to have a great life.

 

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