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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 (39)

September 6, 2021

Kicking It In August- A Couple of Reflections
1- Pulmonary Rehab, twelve sessions, ended on Tuesday. I’ve informed the staff that I will show up every Tuesday and Thursday morning, begging to hit the treadmill running. They told me the door would be locked, and cut me loose. Rehab changed my new life! I shuffled in with my walker in July, barely able to stand up, dying after six minutes on the treadmill. On Tuesday, I left after 20 minutes of treadmill on incline 3, 15 minutes of the NuStep, and strength training/cool down for 15. I practically ran out, but not before thanking my pushy trainers profusely. My nickname is “Trouble”- I laugh, crack jokes, refuse to comply (ultimately caving in to their not-so-subtle urgings). I MUST keep up the daily routine as my healing depends on it.

2- The arts are alive in Beverly Hills! I have completed my goal of touring 16 upright pianos, artistically painted by 16 different artists. The month-long exhibits’ goal is to bring awareness to the public, then donate the pianos to local schools as an inspiration to young lives.

3-My overall recovery progress is very good. Personally, I’m still adjusting to a body that is different. My diaphragm is still very much inflamed (to be expected); my gastrointestinal system is all tweaked; my hair is falling out; I’m unable to find a bra to fit comfortably around the inflamed diaphragm; my eyes have deteriorated faster than usual; I’m constantly battling fatigue; I belch inappropriately; I bruise at the slightest touch on my arms (years of prednisone); foggy brain is very active (or not however one looks at it); I’ve fallen twice in one week due to dizziness, with the second fall resulting in a very swollen, and purple left hand. Just a few side effects of multiple, now lifetime anti rejection, anti bacterial, anti fungal drugs.
Even though the transplant has literally saved my life, of which I’m full of gratitude daily, I’m not cured by any means. I will live day by day, working at staying as healthy as possible, practicing life long mask-wearing, social distancing , semi hermit style isolation (I am, by nature, a gregarious, social being!)

4-I continue to be in awe of the transplant community that surrounds me, the knowingness of each other’s individual battles of post transplant living. I am forever grateful to Ava, Barbi and Ray Chuck and Sara, and of course , the love of my life, Steven.

5-So much gratitude and love to my medical team, and to my donor and his family. He, a young man 24-27 years of age, has given me hope; a chance to live a life that hadn’t seem possible four months ago.

6-The support, love, words of comfort, prayers and financial help from my community of friends and family across the country, my 3R village/friends, church family, and #HelpHopeLive team has been positively mind blowing!

7-Nothing would have been possible without complete trust and faith in my Abba, my Amazing God.

So, August has been a time of hard work, physical breakthroughs, and the realization that though I’m not cured, I can breathe on my own. It’s so worth the lifetime of drug side effects, knowing that new adventures await. Plus, I’ve been promised some grandkids so there’s no way I’m leaving this earth just yet. (ahem, daughters?!) #justbreathe #Godisgoodallthetime #newlungsnewadventures #lungtransplantsurvivor #graditude #HopeIs

August 26, 2021

CNN Heroes segment on Ava’s Heart, the nonprofit organization that is housing us for three months post transplant. An incredible piece and I was blessed to be a part of it.

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Guestbook

August 27, 2021

Just read your August update Shelly and I just wanted to send a little love to you and your husband and family. You are such a fighter - and always with a smile on your face. I remember our days at AIS together! I have always loved your spirit! Keep fighting! All the best, Chrisy Masters Jones, Class of 1978 at AIS

Chrisy Masters Jones

June 8, 2021

Keeping Rachelle in my prayers.

Peggy Mayes

June 1, 2021

Rachelle, aka “ Shelly” to her Agnes Irwin School classmates and friends, “ You Got this !” ❣️ XoXo Mary

Mary Masters Opila

May 12, 2021

Love and healing from the wilds of Wyoming.

jenn burton