‘’I am a powerlifter in the Norwegian non-disabled federation; elite class disabled strongman and world record holder."

Karen, living with Alpha-1

I am Karen, and I am 46 years old and an elite disabled athlete. Because of my plasma therapy, I can participate in sports, run a non-profit that works globally to socialise and mobilise people with lung disease, and spread information to the public about lung disease, and Alpha-1 in particular.

My plasma therapy has given me part of my life back, I have slowly but surely over the past six years rehabilitated back to a life in sports, and today I am the first athlete under oxygen therapy with WADA certification for the use of oxygen therapy in competition. I also do obstacle course racing (OCR), and I was the first athlete under oxygen therapy to participate in the OCR world championships. My life in sport is far from over, my goals are high, and I am thrilled to pave the path for those that come after me.

 I am a powerlifter in the Norwegian non-disabled federation and a disabled strongman in the elite class with several world records under my belt. Because of my therapy, I can continue my quest to change the Paralympic criteria -- I want children with cystic fibrosis, for instance, to be allowed to have a Paralympic dream, since everyone with lung diseases are currently excluded from parasport.

 I am forever grateful that I won in the “postcode lottery” and got my diagnosis in a country that offers treatment. This is also why I work hard for others to get access to treatment. Before my plasma therapy was set in, I fought for my life for over two years -- years that were mostly spent in hospitals and rehabilitation. When I came out in the other end, I had moved and shortly after that I got my diagnosis and all the parts of the big puzzle with my lungs was laid. Though the path back to life was long, already after the first infusion I felt something had changed in my body. Over the next years, I rehabilitated back from not being able to walk and talk to a life in sports.

 My life is truly grand, I enjoy it to the fullest and I am grateful for every single good day I get. The plasma therapy is giving me a second chance in life. To live with Alpha-1 and lung disease can be hard and challenging, but with the access to therapy I can live a full life.

Submit your own story!

We want to hear from you! Every person living with a disease that is treatable with plasma protein therapies has a unique story to tell. If you are impacted by one of these diseases, please consider sharing your story. Share your story and a photo in the e-form to show your support of ”How Is Your Day?” We will review your submission and share it on the ”How Is Your Day?” website and via our Facebook and Twitter channels. Together, we can make a difference.
You have 9999 characters left
By clicking “Submit your story” below, you agree to allow your photo and words to be used as part of the “How Is Your Day?” initiative. We reserve the right to modify your words for grammar, clarity, and space constraints.