Alpha-1 Stories

Jolene’s Story

Committed to a healthy lifestyle, Jolene uses physical fitness and positive thinking to manage her Alpha-1 and encourages others to do the same.


“In 2010 I was diagnosed with Alpha-1, ZZ phenotype. This effects my lungs and liver. In short, I am missing an enzyme in my body. For years I kept getting lung infections and couldn’t understand why my body was swelling so badly. One doctor told me that I was a prime candidate for a heart attack because my CRP levels were through the roof – scary at age 35. In and out of doctors’ appointments and after 40 rounds of blood taken in one year, I struggled with little support, often leaving the doctors’ offices in tears, wondering why they could not offer solutions to just fix me. I heard quite often that I didn’t look sick. Some people didn’t believe me; some just ignored the issue. At a time when I needed people the most, I felt so alone and incredibly sad.

In 2015 something happened to make me change. I was done with people who didn’t care about me or my health. I began Googling and pinning like mad, to help myself. I got involved in a liver study at Boston Medical, headed up by Doctor Wilson. I took the natural route of using essential oils to help with daily migraines and inflammation, which was introduced to me by a great friend. I started attending a new gym, and developed a regular routine. Whether it hurts like hell or not, I go to the gym every darn day and eat clean 80% of the time (because, if anyone knows me well, I LOVE BURGER KING WHOPPERS!).

You have 3 choices in life: Give up, give in, or give it all you’ve got. When I only have one life, I chose to give it all I’ve got!”



DISCLAIMER: This website is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your physician. It is not the intention of this website to provide specific medical advice but rather to provide the Canadian Alpha-1 Community with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorder. Specific medical advice will not be provided and Alpha-1 Canada urges you to consult with a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your personal questions.