You have to fight through some bad days to earn the best days of your life!
We don’t have that kind of Brand Ambassador Program…
but we LOVE to share stories and send Natural Life treasures to girls & women who are making the world a better place in their local communities! Nothing inspires us more than hearing stories about kindness, giving, helping, caring & doing. We’ll share some of the incredible stories we receive in hopes that they inspire others to think about how they can make a difference too!
Kassandra is so strong and inspiring!
Read her story below!
“Kassandra is a strong and amazing warrior! She has Cystic Fibrosis and a little over a year ago she had a double lung transplant. She never ceases to amaze me with her positivity, kindness, and strength. Having CF is such a challenge and then going through a transplant can bring you down and is so hard to go through, but she proved to everyone that she could do it and is showing everyone you can live life no matter what you go through! She surprises me with sweet little gifts and letters and deserves a great thank you for that!” – @katharphoto
A little more about Kassandra!
I had a double lung translate about a year ago. Before that I was an advocate for Cystic Fibrosis, that is the disease that I have that caused me to get a double lung transplant… at the age of 23. I never smoked a day in my life. My main goal is to show people that they can do anything despite what they have wrong with them. I strongly advocate for organ donation now and am on the Tennessee Organ Donation Team for the Transplant Games, which are like the Olympics, but for organ donation). I also advocate for Diabetes because due to my transplant, I now have Diabetes. I am here to spread awareness for Diabetes, Organ Donation, and Cystic Fibrosis.
I want to share the story of how I received my transplant!
So I knew that I was dying and I needed to travel somewhere with better hospitals than where I currently was. I couldn’t get health insurance through Tennessee because I hadn’t been “disabled” for long enough. I didn’t have much time to spare, so I decided to go stay with a friend-of-a-friend in Massachusetts, that’s where some of the top hospitals are for lung transplants. One of my friends came and picked me up, all I had was very few clothes, my corgi (who is my service dog) and about 15 tanks of oxygen. We drove 900 miles to Massachusetts – I had never met the girl I was going to be staying with, I had only started talking to her that same week… but for some reason, I trusted her. I left everyone and everything behind, including my fiancé. He was staying in Tennessee so he could save up some money to come see me. Upon my arrival, I went and saw the Cystic Fibrosis doctors and they said I was too sick to not be in the hospital. When I got there, my lung function was at 21% and I immediately needed 5 liters of oxygen. I got admitted and was in the hospital for a month by myself until Kevin came up to see me. I was up there in the hospital all by myself. My family did not come, did not hardly even check up on me or talk to me.
A month and a half later, Kevin came to see me for the weekend. He drove 16 hours there and 16 hours back… it was the first time in a long time I had someone there with me for more than a couple of hours. I cried so much when he had to go back home. Before he came to see me, I was told that if I did not have a primary caretaker, I could not receive a transplant. I had no one there with me to be my caretaker. I didn’t mention it to Kevin during his visit because I was determined to try to figure it out on my own. But, on his way home he called me, he was crying much I could hardly understand what he was saying. When he calmed down, he told me that he was coming up to be with me through all this. He said he could not leave me there alone and he would help take care of me the best way that he could. He told me to give him couple of weeks and he would be there. He sold all of his belongings so he would have money to live on for a bit – his mountain bikes, whitewater kayaks, his traveling van, a bunch of equipment, everything he had besides some clothes, his dog, and his vehicle to get up there. He got there in November. A few weeks passed and my father died.. I was crying because I did not get to say goodbye to him. During that moment, Kevin pulled out a ring and said “You might have lost an important man in your life and he loved you your whole life until now, but I am going to love you for the rest of your life!”
The transplant team did not want to give me a transplant because we were the first set of people who did not have an actual family member there to care for them or be with them. They did not want to risk anything because Kevin and I have only been dating for a couple of months. They said that even spouses leave people during the hard times of a transplant. We were the first team ever to present this kind of “care-taking” team. He got drilled for weeks and weeks, until he finally proved himself. During this process I was getting weaker and weaker. I was down to 12% lung function… I could hardly walk, talk, eat, I had to have a machine that breathed for me throughout the day and especially at night. Kevin had to wash my hair, my body, brush my teeth, wheel me around in a wheel chair, he had to do everything for me. I got the call for New lungs on January 5th, 2019. We were all excited and ready. I got prepped and onto the surgery. When I got down there and in the operating room they told me they could not do It because the lungs had some damage. They took me back to my room and I cried. The next morning, around 5 am, they came to us and told us that they had new lungs for me. We did not believe them so we just went back to sleep and did our usual thing. We did facemasks together, he plucked my eyebrows for me, we watched some tv, he read part of a book to me, then they randomly came in and asked if I was ready?! And we both were like oh it is really happening!! They got everything ready and I was taken off.
I got my new lungs on January 6th, 2019. I have been their fastest recovering patient. I started walking miles within days of my surgery. I have never been able to breathe like this in my whole life and it is the most precious gift that I/we could have ever received!!
There are so many amazing women in the world who are giving and making a difference. You can get inspired and read even more stories here!
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