Hello! My name is Siobhan (Shi-von) Lestina and I am AlphaNet’s REACH Coordinator. I grew up in Northern Ireland but now call Missouri my home, where I live with my husband, my two children, and my fur baby who is a Great Pyrenees. I enjoy spending time with my family, baking, watching movies, reading, and traveling. I studied in Scotland for four years and I try to visit Ireland and Scotland whenever possible.
I was diagnosed with Alpha-1 in 2010 at the age of 35. Up until this point, I had been told I had asthma my entire life and I assumed my breathing difficulties were due to the asthma being uncontrolled. In my 30’s, my breathing took a turn for the worse, and after years of tests which provided no answers, I found a doctor who recognized the symptoms. She tested me for Alpha-1 and I finally had my answer. I was a ZZ Alpha.
I did not take the news of my diagnosis well and it took me two years to come to terms with it. My AlphaNet Coordinator gave me the answers I was looking for and talking to another Alpha who understood what I was going through was the breakthrough I needed. My Coordinator provided me with the information I needed to help me take control of my condition and helped me understand that with some lifestyle changes, I could still have a great life. Instead of continuing to be depressed about my situation, I decided to view this as a new chapter in my life, and I try to make the most of every day.
I am happy that, as the REACH Coordinator, I can pay this generosity forward and help other Alphas who may feel as I once felt. I am here to help, educate, and most importantly, listen. I am here for you.