Hello! My name is Ernie Combs and I would like to introduce myself as your AlphaNet Coordinator.
I was born and raised in the Detroit area and was immersed in the muscle car genre of the late 60s and early 70s. This was an influence on my life that has never gone away. I still love classic car shows, cruise nights, and auto racing. I chose law enforcement as a career and spent thirty five years “on the job.” I now live in the Clarkston, Michigan area with my understanding wife, Kristen, (she understands my car addiction; I am a “Pontiaddict”). We have a blended family with three sons, two daughters, and four very young grandchildren we refer to as our Groupies.
My journey with Alpha-1 was a long one. I always came down with upper respiratory infections several times a year and the infections became more and more difficult to cure. In late 2009, I had a very difficult bout of bronchitis that sent me to the emergency room. The young ER doctor showed me an x-ray and told me that I had emphysema. I was devastated. I had never been a smoker, although I had had my share of second-hand smoke at work and at home. It was my family doctor that put the pieces of the puzzle together and tested me for Alpha-1. The results came back that I was an SZ. He sent me to a pulmonologist and I went on Prolastin. It was my AlphaNet Coordinator that introduced me to a whole new world of caring support and expert guidance of living and managing Alpha-1. My wife and I feel so blessed by AlphaNet and its family of truly amazing people. I am thrilled to join a group of dedicated and uplifting Coordinators and be in a unique position to help other Alphas.