Heidie is continuing with her fourth term as a Senior Ambassador!! Her initial goal as a Senior Ambassador for the NNN was “to share my knowledge of the disease and my experience with it. I want to offer hope and educate those who are newly diagnosed and educate those who have never heard of this disease. Knowledge is power. I have suffered with this disease for almost 20 years. It is time to give back.”
Heidie has definitely achieved her goal through her involvement with the Peer Support Volunteer Program. She says, “I have talked with several individuals diagnosed with neutropenia and have been told I was a tremendous resource for them. I enjoy helping people newly diagnosed and would like to continue helping these individuals. I think this program is a great resource allowing people to talk with individuals who have their same disease. The doctors don’t always know the intimate details of the disease and how to live with it successfully.”
Thank you, Heidie, for your continued commitment to the Neutropenia community and for helping to make a difference for those newly diagnosed!! We are excited to have you continue this great source of outreach for the NNN!
“I was diagnosed with Neutropenia in 2001. I had been fighting off infections, fatigue, stomach ulcers and malaise. There was no diagnoses. Finally, I moved from Germany back to the States and ended up in Washington State where I went to see Dr. Dale at the University of Washington. He diagnosed me with Idiopathic Chronic Severe Neutropenia. I have been living with and managing it ever since.
I was a Major in the United States Air Force when I was diagnosed. I fought to stay in the military when they tried to medically discharge due to my disease. I retired after a 20 year career; it took me two years to recover after I retired. I worked for one more year-though it was from home. Then I decided to go back to school for my doctorate.
When I was first diagnosed with this disease, I knew I could become either a complacent patient or remain a fighter and live my life. I have always chosen to live and thrive even though most times it is a struggle. I have continued to travel the world even though I was told I should not. It is a choice, though I am quite aware of the risk.”