Author Archives: Christie

Just Being Alive After Transplant Is Actually Enough

The pressure we put on ourselves to live full, “successful” lives can be debilitating. Transplant recipients can be burdened with extremely high expectations for what post-transplant life should look like. Organ transplantation is an incredible gift, but those expectations can cause a lot of emotional stress and guilt. Before I…

Facing IPF, Mortality, and a Future as an Only Child

Growing up as an only child, I’ve spent my whole life hearing what one Washington Post writer calls “a slew of profoundly unflattering and occasionally contradictory stereotypes.” I’ve been told many times how lucky I am that I don’t have to share my parents’ affection with siblings. Or…

Celebrating the Transplant Rehab Team That Walked With Us

On Mother’s Day in 2019, I walked into the ICU on the ninth floor of University of California, San Francisco’s Parnassus campus for the last time. It had been a month since my mom, Holly, was discharged from the hospital there after having a bilateral lung transplant. Although I…

Adapting and Moving Through Tough Days

In March 2019, my mom, Holly, got a second chance at life. Her bilateral lung transplant was a gift of the highest order. It saved and prolonged her life when nothing else would. It gave her body back the power to enjoy living. It restored her health and independence.

How to Make Your Event Safer for Vulnerable Guests

As soon as my mom, Holly, was out of the hospital following her bilateral lung transplant, our family began efforts to protect her immunocompromised body. Before she even got the call about available donor lungs, the University of California, San Francisco lung transplant team had educated my family…

In the ICU, We Said Yes to the Hope of a Dress

In the three weeks between my boyfriend Jonny’s proposal and our spontaneous elopement, we daydreamed about a big wedding. We decided to get married before he left for a year of training and school with the Army. Despite our legal union, we still wanted to celebrate with a ceremony of…

Tips for Staying Safe in the Sun While Taking Immunosuppressants

Progressive lung diseases like pulmonary fibrosis cause ripple effects throughout the body. In PF, lung scarring prevents the organs from exchanging gases correctly, resulting in oxygen deficits known as hypoxemia and hypoxia. Chronic hypoxemia, or low oxygen levels in the blood, affects all parts of the body.