Hi, my name is Elizabeth Eich and I would like to introduce myself as your AlphaNet Patient Services Coordinator.
I live with my husband and son on the Gulf Coast in northwest Florida where I love outdoor activities and volunteering with different groups. I’m also an animal lover, and I love to read.
I was diagnosed by a pulmonologist after years of chronic bronchitis. When getting tested for Alpha-1, I heard the words that I have since learned that many of us have heard before: “This probably won’t apply to you; we are just trying to rule things out.” Two weeks later, I found out that I was, in fact, a ZZ. Although this diagnosis was scary and overwhelming, it explained a lot since I had never been a smoker and I could never understand why I had had so many chronic lung problems. My shortness of breath was diagnosed as asthma in my 20’s, and I got frequent chest colds and bronchitis when everyone around me only had head colds. My doctor was very proactive and helped me to receive augmentation therapy quickly. Since being on therapy, I have noticed a profound and immediate improvement in how I feel and how often I haven’t caught every bug that comes along anymore.
I learned quickly that Alphas need to be especially aware of their environment and need to be very hands-on in their own care since many people don’t understand what Alpha-1 is, or the damage that can be caused to lungs unknowingly and unintentionally. This led me to learn as much as I could so I could stay as healthy as possible. A major influence in my education were several caring Coordinators that did a great job of letting me know that I wasn’t alone, gave me the tools to learn how to be a healthy Alpha, and helped make me a better advocate for myself.
My former career in public service allowed me to help people on a daily basis. Working for AlphaNet allows me to give back some of what has been given to me in order to help other Alphas have a better life learning to stay as healthy as they can be. The more Alphas I get to know, the more I believe that we are all part of one big family. We all inherited our Alpha-1 genes from someone in our own family who inherited them from someone else earlier on. That makes us all related somewhere way back and gives me a special connection to all the Alphas I speak to. I feel so lucky to speak to so many wonderful people, and although the diagnosis isn’t something I would wish on anyone, I feel fortunate that I was diagnosed because now I understand myself better, and it has given me, in turn, a chance to help others understand themselves better as well. I will do my best to help answer your questions or address your concerns, and I am available to be a sounding board or cheerleader for those that need it.
Coordinator: Elizabeth Eich
Phone: (877) 339-1884
State/Province/Territories: Coordinator At Large
Zip Code (first 3 digits only):