Hi, my name is Karen Bowers and I would like to introduce myself as your AlphaNet Coordinator.
I live in North Las Vegas, Nevada. I was 52-years-young when I was diagnosed with Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency. I was a full-time “RV’er,” and my family and I were visiting our hometown of Carson City, Nevada. I noticed that I was unable to walk more than 50 feet when I would be so out of breath that everything was a challenge.
During this time, my doctor—who specialized in asthma—thought that it was my heart causing these medical issues. The technician that was giving me the treadmill test stated that it was not my heart, but my respiratory system and recommended a cat scan. The technician who analyzed the scan recommended I be tested for Alpha-1. That was April 2006, and from that day forward, I vowed to learn everything I could to enhance my life and learn how to live with this genetic condition.
I went to my first Education Day in Denver, Colorado in August 2007. It was here that I was first introduced to AlphaNet. That Education Day changed my life and sparked my new-found adventure to learn more about Alpha-1 and share my knowledge with those inflicted with this condition.