Erica Honeycutt, a 28-year-old from Murfreesboro, was diagnosed with Non Specific Interstitial Pneumonia (NSIP) in summer of 2015. NSIP is a very rare lung disease that affects the tissue that surrounds and separates the alveoli, or the tiny air sacks of the lungs.
”Back in the latter part of 2014, out of nowhere, I began to notice being short of breath by doing normal daily activities,” says Honeycutt. “For example walking to the mailbox, carrying in groceries, and even talking became difficult.”
In the beginning of her journey, Erica was diagnosed with a grocery list of possible conditions, such as asthma, lupus and Castleman’s disease. During a hospital visit in February 2015, a hematologist at Vanderbilt noticed scarring on her lungs and enlarged lymph nodes in her chest. He referred her to a colleague pulmonologist who conducted a biopsy. She was diagnosed with NSIP in June 2015.
“I remember being afraid, feeling alone, angry, and devastated because in the mind of a 26 year old, you should be perfectly healthy, and when you all of a sudden can’t breathe and don’t have answers as to why, you begin to feel hopeless,” says Honeycutt. “However, you are not alone and you don’t have to feel hopeless”.
Over 33 million Americans are currently living with lung disease. Young or old, smoker or not, lung disease can happen to anyone at any time. Erica will be sharing her story at our 2017 Fight for Air Climb in Nashville on Saturday, February 18th from 8:00am to 10:30am.
This unique and signature event challenges participants to complete the 29 floors, or 638 steps, of the Fifth Third Center. Registration is $35, plus a required $100 fundraising minimum to climb. We invite the Nashville community to join our fight against lung disease as we climb for those who are not able. This event is expected to sell out, attracting over 100 climbers and local fire fighters to step up for a cause.
We invite you to step up to the challenge, to climb for Erica and the 33 million effected by lung disease.