Hello, my name is Shelly Paffrath and I’m happy to introduce myself as your AlphaNet Coordinator.
I am from Winona, Minnesota where I was born and raised. It is a beautiful little valley river town set between the bluffs of Minnesota and Wisconsin with the Mississippi River set in between the two states. I am the proud mother of three daughters (Samantha, Jenna, and Nina) and two cats (Fuzz and Freedom). My daughter, Samantha, was married this fall and I’m looking forward to someday becoming a grandmother. My middle child Jenna is off living with roommates and my daughter Nina (6) lives with me and the cats.
Helping others is a passion of mine. I am a member of the Breastfest Committee here in Minnesota. Breastfest provides support and awareness for local breast cancer patients. This year we organized an event which raised a large sum to help breast cancer patients. For the past 15 years, I held a position where customer service was key. Another important part of my position was research. I am the type of person who can never learn too much and am inspired by challenge and the ability to see something new.
I was diagnosed with Alpha-1 in 2006 while pregnant with Nina. The nurse practitioner I see on a regular basis had my blood tested and provided me with the diagnosis after multiple bouts of bronchitis and difficulty breathing. I visited with a pulmonologist in 2006, but treatment was not started until 2011. In 2011, I began seeing my regular pulmonologist and began my Prolastin-C infusions. It was at this time that I found out that I was a ZZ. In 2011, I was also diagnosed with bronchiectasis along with the emphysema, COPD, and Alpha-1. I am very happy to report that since my infusion therapy started, my pulmonary function tests have remained the same. This was not the case in the past.
AlphaNet has been a very important part of my success with Alpha-1 Antitrypsin deficiency. The knowledge and support have given me a positive outlook on life. I am very proud to be a part of this family and look forward to working with other Alphas. It is my goal to provide the same wonderful level of service that I have been given. I am very happy to help Alphas and provide answers to any questions you may have (or find answers to the questions). Please contact me as I will look forward to hearing from you.