4 years.

imageimageI’ve made it 4 years with my donors lungs. Thanks to my donor and everyone who helped me make it this far. Doctors, nurses surgeons, family and everyone in between. I have had some amazing experiences and have been able to live a life I was truly never able with my Cystic Fibrosis lungs.

I’m so incredibly grateful for everything and even after 4 years it seems like just yesterday I was able to breathe for the first time. Thank you.



For every breath I take with my donors lungs.

For every new experience I live.

For everyday I get to be on this planet.

For every person I come in contact with.

I am thankful for my life. One breath at a time.

Mini Transplant Summary

When I was in high school I was having a very hard time with my health. Like usual, but epic and frequent infections that just would back off. Constantly stealing what precious little space my lungs possessed. I spent days and weeks in the hospital and months at a time on  IV antibiotics. I studied at the local Community College through the Running Start Program my High School offered so that I would have more time for my health. I  ended up graduating with spare credits even with my hours of treatments and therapy required of me daily. Who would have known that since that day I would be fighting my hardest  battle yet, needing my lungs replaced. I was breathing, on oxygen, with less than 10% of normal lung function when I got the phone call. I couldn’t even walk from the couch to the bathroom, less than 50 feet, without feeling exhausted. My 10% of lung function was replaced with donor lungs on September 16th, 2010. I am grateful everyday for this second chance at life and my donor. My lung function is now above 60%! Incredible.

THE Letter

Today was a day I have imagined ever since my eyes opened while sitting on the ventilator in the ICU. Flabbergasted that I was still alive. Today, I sent a letter that I wrote to my donor family. After spilling my guts and my whole heart over words for 14 drafts of a pretty long letter, I finally feel like I wrote one I could fold up and stick in an envelope. Not worthy by all means, but I did the best and gave it all I had. And I just couldn’t wait any longer to give thanks. Although I hope its not the final letter I will be writing them. I really hope that in some way it can provide them with peace. Even peace the size of a grain of sand. Because even something that small can make a difference in large quantities. I wanted so bad to be able to ease their excruciating and probably what feels like terminal pain. Although I know what loss feels like, and I know a letter doesn’t carry much hope for a pain so deep.

I am so, so incredibly thankful for my donor and their family no words can express, they saved my life, but alas, I tried my best with the words. No matter how many times I fought to explain it, I always felt it inadequate. How do you thank anyone who saved your life. I was suppose to pass away but yet I still remain on this earth. I would have been gone 4 years ago. Yet they are gone, and have been. A situation so hard to fathom, a heartbreaking loss and in turn a triumphant recovery.

Its just not fair.

And I wrote, thank you. My feelings summed up to 2 words that could never mean enough.

Thank you.

(I posted the letter in full on one of the tabs because many family and friends wanted to read it, I hope its not disrespectful. I was hoping that my donor family might stumble upon it.)

Work In Progress

Welcome to my website/ blog. Www.lovelivejustbreathe.com formerly known as www.whatsupnina.com. Actually either links work just fine!

I eventually want to post my story in details and some words and photography that I have come up with over the years. Stick around I hope you enjoy!

I can also be found on Tumblr at lovelivejustbreathe.tumblr.com

and on SmugMug at christinaolingerphoto.smugmug.com

Among most of the other various social media sites. Look me up! I should have some links up some time soon. You get new lungs and all of a sudden you’re busy busy! Yay!! Thankful everyday!