Nicole, 28, was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at a young age and was given a low chance of surviving past age 10. Nicole describes her personality as a “bull” and says that “if someone tells me I can’t do something, then I’m going to fight very hard and go do it.”
Nicole beat the odds and it wasn’t until the age of 21 when her doctors told her that she would need to start looking into transplant surgery. A few years later, Nicole was added to the lung-transplant waiting list. And in June of 2019. just 2 weeks after getting married, Nicole received the best wedding gift one could ask for, a life-saving lung transplant!
Nicole and her mom, Patti, stayed at the Howie’s House for a little over 2 months during Nicole’s transplant and recovery journey. She says that although her recovery was hard, “knowing that you’re coming back to a place that’s peaceful and understanding is priceless”. Nicole and her mom particularly enjoyed interacting with the Home Cook Hero volunteers and the delicious meals they provided every night. “It was so comforting to come home from a long day of physical therapy and have spaghetti waiting for you”.
Nicole says she is thankful for the people at the Howie’s House that make the journey for transplant patients doable, and explains, “when you’re experiencing so much trauma on a regular basis, you really just need some love at the end of the day, and I felt like I got that at the Howie’s House.”
Growing up, Nicole’s passion and escape was always the theatre. She started participating in theatre groups from a young age and continued to star in and write for shows all the way into college. When her condition started to worsen, however, she could no longer participate in shows the way she wanted to. That is when she began to write a musical about her journey and experiences as a Cystic Fibrosis patient, and soon enough she had finished writing the lyrics to her full-length musical, Fall Risk.
Today, Nicole is in great health leading up to the 2-year anniversary of her lung-transplant and is now putting all her efforts into producing and bringing her musical to life!
This spring, consider making a gift that will help us continue to be there for families like Nicole’s during their difficult and unpredictable transplant journeys. Your gift will help us provide comfort and stability to our families 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. Click here to give today.