Hello, my name is Toya DeLeon and I would like to introduce myself as your AlphaNet Coordinator and Assistant Program Manager.
My husband, Dee, and I have been married for 16 years and have three children between us. We also have four adorable grandchildren, which are the light of my life. We live in Texas and enjoy swimming, traveling and spending time with family.
After battling pneumonia, asthma and shortness of breath, I was diagnosed with Alpha-1 because of a kidney infection. I was referred for a CT scan due to possible kidney stones and found out I had a pulmonary nodule. My doctor quickly referred me to a pulmonologist who told me I also had emphysema. Since I am not a smoker, I started questioning him about emphysema and what could have caused it. After some discussion regarding my family history, he told me about a free test that would rule out a rare genetic disorder called, Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency. Within a few weeks, I received a call from a nurse telling me I had Alpha-1 and was a “ZZ.” Even though the diagnosis was overwhelming at first, I was relieved to know what was causing my symptoms.
Once I connected with AlphaNet, I found a family. It was so nice to speak with people that understood all the emotions and questions I had in the beginning. My coordinator connected me with information regarding Alpha-1 and was able to answer all my questions.
I am honored to be serving as an AlphaNet Coordinator and look forward speaking with you. We are Alphas serving Alphas.