Hello, my name is Clara Jamison and I would like to introduce myself as your AlphaNet Coordinator.
I live in Garrison, Kentucky which is situated in what is referred to as the Ohio River Valley. I have been married 27 years to my husband Randy. We have one daughter, Natalie, and last but certainly not least Marcie, our Shih Tzu who believes she is the boss of the house.
I am a graduate from Ohio University with a bachelor’s Degree in Education. I have taught in both public and private schools. In 2009, I stepped down from teaching to homeschool our daughter who was dealing with health issues at the time. In 2014, I began my second career working from home doing customer service for various companies. I am so excited to be able to apply the skills of both teaching and customer service to help my fellow Alpha’s.
I really love traveling. Going to the beach each year has always been a family tradition. I enjoy old movies, gardening, cooking and trying out new recipes, visiting friends and family and attending our church.
My Alpha-1 diagnosis came in 1999 after my oldest brother, who had been diagnosed a year earlier, kept insisting that all our family members be tested. My test revealed that I am a ZZ. At that time, I had no clue what I was up against or what all of this meant as I was not exhibiting any major health issues. Perhaps I didn’t take the diagnosis as serious as I should have. Still, I was mindful of my Alpha-1 diagnosis and made sure that any new doctor I visited had this information about me. Over time, I did start to develop respiratory issues. I was increasingly aware of my shortness of breath and a nagging cough. The doctors kept checking my progress with PFT’s (Pulmonary Function Test) and in 2015, my pulmonologist was surprised that I had significant reduction in my lung function from the previous year. This began my introduction to augmentation therapy. I then searched and found the Alpha-1 support group closest to me to learn more and connect with others. The support group along with being paired with an AlphaNet coordinator has been a greatest source of information and support which is very much needed when dealing with something as rare as this. I encourage every Alpha to seek out all sources of support. I am happy to be your AlphaNet coordinator and look forward to providing you with the same, support and care that I’ve experienced in my own Alpha-1 journey. We are like a family. We are stronger when we work together.