200 meters

Try to run 200 meters with a nose clip and breathing through a straw. At the end when you are dizzy and exhausted, you will know what it’s like to have 20-30% lung power! You are out of breath like they were in the video pretty much all of the time. Exercising or even just walking up three flights of stairs is basically torture. Not to mention having to cough up thick mucus and wheezing like an 80 year old life-long smoker.

Thank God I am in the 80-90% range now. No more coughing, no more vest, no more nebulizers, no more oxygen, no more CPAP, no more lung infections, and no more PICC lines!


St. Germaine Cousin (Feast day: June 15)


Young French female saints—they follow me everywhere! So I just recently looked up the most celebrated Saint of the day for my transplant day, June 15th, aka my “breathday”. It is Saint Germaine Cousin. She is similar to Saint Thérèse of Lisieux in that during her short life she was totally unknown except by family and a few townspeople, but now she is an international rockstar and has many devoted followers from her place in heaven. It turns out that my mom has had a painting of her hanging in our house since 1992, the year I was born! She just thought it was a nice picture of a shepherdess. I don’t think its a coincidence that I had my transplant on her feast day. Give this article a read and learn about this incredible little French saint!


“The Catholic Church has offered innumerable examples of saints immersed hopelessly in the despairing squalor of sin, who suddenly pull themselves out on a sunbeam of grace and soar to the heights of genuine holiness. Saint Germaine, the subject of our story, however, never chose sin, yet was surrounded by the perfect climate (according to today’s standards) to excuse it.  She was unwanted, handicapped, abused, and neglected.  She had no self-esteem, was never sent to school; she was poor and she was hungry.  She died when she was twenty-two years old, all alone and in a barn.  Yet almost four hundred years after her death, books are still written about her and she is still prayed to.  There are churches named after her throughout the whole Christian world and people still make pilgrimages to her shrine in France.

What is the secret of Saint Germaine? She was truly a “victim of circumstance”.  But circumstances have two sides, just as when some people smell flowers and think of a funeral, others smell flowers and think of a spring garden.  Throughout life God strews our paths with sufficient graces for our eternal salvation.  It is up to each individual, however, to stoop down and pick them up.  They are the light spots between the clouds and they grow brighter as they are collected.  Saint Germaine is one of the many examples of saints who have surmounted the obstacles of life and soared to the heights of holiness.”

St. Germaine, pray for us!