Hello! My name is Doreen Flook and I would like to introduce myself as the AlphaNet Program Manager for the Prolastin Direct Program.
I live in Waterford, Michigan with my husband Bart. Together we raised three wonderful children, who are now finding their way through the trials and tribulations of life. I grew up in the small farming town of Holly, Michigan where I actively participated in 4-H and also spent many summers at our family cottage located on the west side of the state towards Muskegon at a little place called Blue Lake and have many wonderful memories growing up in Michigan.
It wasn’t until the fall of 2001 that I took notice of my increasing shortness of breath. It seemed as though spring and late fall were my enemies, as I constantly battled bronchitis. I had recently switched to a new family doctor and was treated for asthma. For some reason, things just didn’t feel right to me. I was a young adult who was experiencing breathing issues and with each respiratory illness, my breathing appeared to get worse. I pushed for more answers and was sent to see a pulmonologist. When I arrived at the specialist in 2002, I remember thinking that I was in the right place but wasn’t prepared for the diagnosis after a simple blood test. The result was Alpha-1 Antitrypsin, ZZ variant; I have to say that although it was hard to hear the results, I am thankful to have received a formal diagnosis. I began augmentation treatment shortly after diagnosis and decided that my personal outcome was going to depend upon how I chose to respond. I chose to learn, involve myself and began attending Alpha-1 Education Days, as well as getting involved with a local support group.
The years following my diagnosis of Alpha-1, I remained employed within the industrial manufacturing market and have held positions such as Corporate Buyer, Inside Sales Team Leader and Customer Service Manager. I also enrolled in college and obtained a degree in Business Management. Although Alpha-1 may require a tweak or two in our daily lives; it can be managed. Throughout the years and from speaking with Alphas, I have found great inspiration and comfort in dealing with others that experienced many of the same issues I had. I believe that through AlphaNet you’ll find that we all share a common ground and gain an instant family. I encourage each of you to learn, ask questions, get involved and take charge of your own health. We at AlphaNet are always willing and available to help answer your questions or find resources specific to your needs.