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 five grown children, and three little ones at home. I was diagnosed with Alpha-1 quite by accident in 1998, at just 34, 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.
Before joining AlphaNet in 1999, I worked in planning and development for a public utility for 18 years. 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. My husband and I are truly blessed to be Foster and Adoptive Parents as well as work with children and youth in our church.
Through my many years working with AlphaNet, I have been privileged to serve my fellow Alphas and have developed a huge second family. 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. When I was first diagnosed, the first pulmonary physician I saw told me I would not see my children graduated from high school without a lung transplant. Those children are currently 25 and 30 years old. Not only has my immediate family grown, but so has my AlphaNet family and I can still say I have the best job in the world.
Coordinator: Gayle Tipper
Phone: (877) 982-5742
State/Province/Territories: North Carolina (for zip codes below only) & South Carolina
Zip Code (first 3 digits only): NC 270-283, 289