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Sara Uebele, a double lung transplant survivor, to do Fight for Air Climb this weekend

Posted at 5:05 PM, Mar 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-06 18:05:58-05

HARTFORD — A Hartford woman is getting ready to do the Fight for Air Climb.

Sara Uebele has had two lung transplants, so for her, climbing stairs is a difficult task.

"I was diagnosed at three months old," with cystic fibrosis, a disease that affects the lungs and digestive system.

"I would say I never had a normal childhood growing up, sleeping over at friend's houses, and just doing random things," she says.

Her family, especially her mom, and her faith in God got her through her first lung transplant.

That set of lungs lasted about five years, and then her body began to reject it.

She says she was sicker the second time around. On oxygen and a feeding tube, she struggled to get above 90 pounds, needed for consideration for a second lung transplant. Her doctor, aptly named Dr. Love, said she wouldn't make it if she didn't get an operation, so Sara got one, but she still has daily struggles.

"Right now, with all of the medications, being 18-19 years out, I have kidney problems, I have hearing problems, bone problems," she says.

And now, she is worried this set of lungs will give out, "Every little girl probably likes to think about getting married and a family and planning their wedding, and here I am planning my funeral."

But she tries to keep somewhat of a healthy life. She is a pediatric nurse, and she just got engaged. She also wants to travel more.

"I've been to India, London, Paris, New York, Grand Cayman, Hawaii. I want to go wherever I can go."

But in the back of her mind is the unknown. She isn't sure what to think about a third transplant.

"I feel greedy getting two already," she says. "I think about others out there that haven't gotten a second chance, and I've gotten a third chance."

No matter what the future holds, her faith and her family life are strong and getting her through everyday life.

She did the Fight for Air Climb last year, "I was all gung ho, and there were people cheering and everything, and so I started my job, and I started to slow down, and eventually I'm like, why did I do this?"

But she made it to the top, and she is going to do it again this year.

"I'm going to do it. If I have to stop 50 times on the way up, I'll do it. My goal is just to finish."

The Fight for Air Climb benefits the American Lung Association.

It's this Saturday at the U.S. Bank Center in downtown Milwaukee. On-site registration is available. The climbing begins at around 8:00 a.m. Saturday.

For more information, click here.

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