Gayle Allison Tipper

Hi, my name is Gayle Tipper and I would like to introduce myself as your AlphaNet Patient Services Coordinator.

I live in Wilmington, North Carolina, with my husband, Larry. Between us, we have four grown children. I was diagnosed with Alpha-1 quite by accident in 1998, at just 33, when I needed some foot surgery and couldn’t shake a cold. My doctor ordered a chest X-ray and it came back showing severe COPD. I pulled out an old medical reference guide and read a paragraph about Alpha-1. I told my primary doctor and he had me tested. Up until then, I didn’t know there was anything wrong.

I previously worked in planning and development for a public utility and I began applying some of my skills to work for Alphas. I am a past Board Member of the Alpha-1 Association, editor of the AWARE newsletter created for their support groups, past support group leader in both West Virginia and North Carolina and past member of the Alpha-1 Association Support Group Leader Advisory Council. You can tell I am a big believer in the benefits of support groups. I was also involved with the Alpha-1 International Network, of which I served as Vice-Chair. I am a participant in Friends for a Cure and help raise funds for the Alpha-1 Foundation. In my free time I like to volunteer at my church and relax at the beach.

Through my work with AlphaNet, I have been fortunate to find some kindred spirits among other Alphas. I have a saying, “It’s not the load that breaks you, it’s the way you carry it,” that I think really applies to how I approach living with Alpha-1. In 1999, I began to work for AlphaNet and feel I have the best job in the world since I can actually help other people deal with the condition we have. I feel like every day is a family reunion and I know my health is better because of it.

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