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Donna's Story

Donna is a native of Buffalo, NY, and had sought treatment all over the country for her asthma. After seven doctors, twelve hospitals, and six bronchoscopies, her asthma was still so severe that she had to use her nebulizer every two hours and couldn’t even bend over to tie her shoe. She needed help with everything, but what upset her most was that she had lost the ability to speak or laugh without wheezing.

After a trip to one of the top hospitals in the country proved futile, Donna was beginning to give up hope. Finally, a doctor in Colorado told her there was only one person in the country who could help her – UPMC's Sally Wenzel, MD. Dr. Wenzel diagnosed Donna with Asthmatic Granulomatosis, an autoimmune disease. Thanks to Dr. Wenzel, Donna says she has quality of life now instead of being attached to a machine every two hours.

Some people call Dr. Wenzel the "Asthma Guru," but Donna, who has been seeing Dr. Wenzel for four years, calls her a lifesaver.

"She never gave up on me and left no stone unturned," Donna claims.

Today, Donna resides in Arizona and can do almost everything including mild exercise. She was most delighted to share that she recently went on vacation, and left her nebulizer at home.


Learn more about Pulmonary and Respiratory Services at UPMC

Learn more about the Asthma Institute at UPMC