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Rachelle Needs Your Help

My wife, Rachelle Ledbetter, has been suffering from pulmonary problems since she was a child. Eight years ago, she was diagnosed with severe Bronchiectasis. Her doctors have told us that her only option now is a life-saving lung transplant.

Updates (35)

July 18, 2020

Day 18: Operation Medical Relocation to the Coast
I can finally breathe again. I noticed the change after fourteen days in Morro Bay. When I arrived on July 1, I was in yet another compromised health condition. The final two weeks of June in the Central Valley had done me in with temperatures rising and the air deteriorating rapidly. The sure sign of increased breathlessness, not being able to move without my O2 stats plummeting; increased mucus production and greater fatigue. It was time for me to go coastal.
It was quite a roller coaster getting here with three potential rentals falling through for various reasons. Finally securing a July home on June 30th, it was time. Though my body wants to go into anxiety mode due to all the changes in plans, this process has cemented my trust in God, knowing that the perfect place is waiting at the right time, albeit the last minute in this case.
Steve and I drove separate cars and begin setting up camp at the cutest, funkiest 1940’s place that exuded a well loved family home on the bay. It was well suited for us!
Then the healing began. Steve has taken on the roll of task master- the one who makes me exercise. This is no easy feat as I can be very manipulative and convincing on why I can’t walk today. Determination was all over him however. With COPD, the lungs say “no thank you” to any form of movement, which is why it’s absolutely critical to get moving. It builds up lung capacity. And walk I did. At first, 2000 steps daily was my goal, 3000 by the end of the month. The first week was walk a few steps, stop. Walk a few more, stop. By the end of Week One, 2000 steps was the norm.
It was the second week when a huge shift occurred. Steve and I took a short drive to Cayucos Pier and something kicked in. Invigorated, ocean air filling my battered lungs, we reached the end of the pier with 6-8 stops. On the return, the Ledbetter drive kicked in and I took off leaving Steve and Sadie behind me. I was home. I was breathing. I was crying at the obvious turnaround in my lung capacity and energy level. This is why I come to the coast. To get a sense of life back, to be involved, to breathe, to be somewhat normal. Once again, I know I will be sticking around a bit longer.
My gratitude to all who have supported me on this journey: my three Rivers community, my anonymous Patron, the outpouring of prayers, love and financial gifts. I continue to be in absolute awe of the numerous blessings while going through the storm. My heart overflows. #gratitude #gonecoastal #justbreatheagain #oceanair

June 10, 2020

For the first time in ten years, in celebration of my birthday month, I went white water rafting!! When Meaghan Skye Swinney suggested the idea, I didn’t think twice-YES! Why not? Maybe because I have a large oxygen tank that must accompany me. What if I fell in? Or my tank ran out of O2. Or fell on the trail. Or…..
Our guide, Don, along with Meaghan and Steven, were on high alert, cautioning me when we approached the rapids, getting me safely in and out of a raft, and ensuring a good time for the birthday girl.
Though it’s the end of rafting season and the water is low, it was perfection. A beautiful day, clear water, excitement at ‘Tubers Revenge’, ‘Devil’s Eyeball’, ‘Golf Course rapid’, and ‘don’t hit that tree’, and the adrenaline rush of engaging in an outdoor adventure I may never had done while on the transplant list. I proved that disabilities don’t have to stop us from enjoying life.
On to the next celebration! #JustBreathe #mindblowing #gratitude #nevertakelifeforgranted

Photo Galleries (3)

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December 30, 2020

Thnking of you, Shelly and Steve and your beautiful daughters this Christmas season and praying that the new year brings you a new set of lungs. Love, Mary and Don

Donald & Mary Opila

December 2, 2020

Dear Rachelle, I wish I could give more but I know it all helps. I love you Cousin. God bless you and keep you till you can get your new lungs. Anita

Anita Durfee

October 1, 2020

I hope you are doing well <3

Lea Gayton

June 7, 2019

We love you Rachelle! Happy birthday!!!! Here’s to many more, breathing with ease

Kathleen Seligman

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