Heidi was born with a rare genetic disorder called glycogen storage disease. For the first 25 years of her life this disorder controlled, but did not define her. Glycogen storage disease (GSD) caused her blood sugars to rapidly decline day or night without a consistent source of glucose. Since birth her routine consisted of nightly NG tube feedings, consistent blood sugar checks, and frequent hospitalizations along with numerous visits to medical specialists. During one visit to the ER it was found that her blood sugar was at a level 12, yet she was alert enough to converse.
During that time she was able to attend college and obtain two degrees. She barely finished nursing school when she found out she would need a liver transplant. She was referred to a local transplant center since her liver had grown over 30 tumors (a common occurrence of GSD) the largest being the size of grapefruit.
On August 24 2005 she received her life-saving transplant. She now works as an RN on the transplant unit at Froedtert Hospital; the same unit where she was once a patient. She has provided hope, care, and encouragement for her patients for the last 14 years as they embark on their new journeys.
She and her husband Mike have two wonderful children, Brianna and Logan. She enjoys many activities with her family that she would not have physically been able to before. She enjoys going to the YMCA, reading, crafting with her children, and dancing when she think no one's looking. She and her family are forever grateful for this gift and opportunity to live life to the fullest.
As an unfortunate side-effect of her anti-rejection medications she is now in need of a kidney transplant. She and her family are hopeful for yet another miracle, but she still embraces life with a positive outlook.
Heidi is a ray of hope and says "I'm so excited to participate in this wonderful event!"