Meet Valeria Hatcher
Pre-transplant lung recipient.
My name is Valeria Hatcher aka “Oxygen Diva”. I’m a pre-transplant lung recipient; meaning I am waiting for a transplant match. I’m 60 years old and live in Los Angeles, CA. I am a proud mother of two boys and two wonderful grandchildren. In 2009 I was diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis caused by a connective tissue disorder-Discoid Lupus, and have been on oxygen ever since.
When I was first diagnosed, the news was overwhelming for me, I lost my mind and drove myself crazy thinking about everything. I was looking for answers… What is happening to me? How do I get rid of this? My family doesn’t have this disease, WHY ME? I needed help, support and guidance from others who have been down this journey. I discovered One Breath Foundation and their amazing support group.
Their support group meeting was such an eye opener and it made my heart sing to realize that I wasn’t alone. Other people have the same disease, and I met successful double lung transplant recipients. They gave me so much hope. Since then I decided to spread more hope and learned everything I could about Pulmonary Fibrosis. I am now a Pulmonary Fibrosis Ambassador sharing my journey so I can help others suffering with this disease. I’ve also participated as a patient educator at UCLA for Medical Students.
When I am not out helping others, I spend my time reading, and trying out new restaurants. It’s my dream to take a deep breath again, I am hopeful that one day I can travel, dance, and breath with ease. My new name will be “Dance Diva”. Thanks for reading my story and for one moment being a part of my journey.