Angelina was born June 14, 2002 diagnosed at birth with Cystic Fibrosis. At 6 months, she began living with her paternal grandparents who took her in and have raised her as their own. “Daddy” (Edward) and “Mommy” (Rose) gained permanent custody a year later. Though now divorced, they work together to give the support Angelina needs. Angelina’s birth parents are not excluded from her life and she continues to have positive contact with them today.
Life was “normal” for Angelina as a child up until the age of 8, in 2010 when she began to develop serious lung infections that are a common occurrence if Cystic Fibrosis patients. Her hospitalizations began to increase in frequency, CF slowly eating away at her health and causing extreme lifestyle changes.
In 2012, Angelina lungs deteriorated to the level she was considered Stage 4- the last stage of the disease. She had overcome infections of MRSA, Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, and Candida several times. Doctor’s pumped the most powerful antibiotics and antifungals into her veins through IV and yet, the disease continued to progress. After 6 months on the transplant waiting list at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas she improved enough to be listed as “inactive” and allowed to go home to live as best she could (for as long as she could). Angelina relied on oxygen support 24 hours a day.
She had lost many personal liberties enjoyed by most of us, yet continued to have a positive and infectious outlook on life. As expected, she battles internally and requires an abundant amount of patience, understanding and caring showered upon her. At times, she adjusts to her limitations as if they didn’t exist. She entered the 7th Grade and attended school- with limitations that affected not only her physical health, but seriously challenged her mental health as well.
A Facebook page was created for family to keep up with her constant hospitalizations, exams, and therapies. Over the last several years, Angelina’s Updates has grown to 9,000 fans, becoming a source of motivation and inspiration for those who know her.
In January 2014, Angelina’s lungs again deteriorated and she was confined to live with 24-hour oxygen support, (Imagine the restrictions on daily life that we “normal” people take for granted). Angelina possesses the strength and willpower to live, regardless of the obstacles put forth before her.
Angelina celebrated her 14th birthday on June 14, 2016. July 13th is her second Birthday- thanks to the wonderful donor and their family.
After a devastating dry run after her birthday, Angelina finally received her HERO’s lungs three weeks later.
She had been fighting for her life on the transplant waiting list at Texas Children’s Hospital for a record-breaking 21 months.
Cystic Fibrosis is one of the leading causes of death in children progressing with no obvious causes or triggers. It is a disease that takes the life from a person slowly and deliberately. To survive, the symptoms of the disease must be treated daily. Many improvements in the treatment of Cystic Fibrosis have given rise to the life expectancy of many of those afflicted. However, Angelina had fallen into a category not seen often. The extent of her disease was such that her doctors said it is uncommon to have a child her age with this much lung damage from Cystic Fibrosis. To learn more about this disease that affects 30,000 Americans, visit online
It is our sincerest hope that you can contribute any amount in support of Angelina’s post-transplant regiment. A sub-account for supplemental medical needs and support for Angelina during this process has been set up through the Arc of Texas Master-Pooled Trust. A temporary non-dividend account at UFCU has been set up to collect funds that will be deposited into the MPT.
Any help you can give is greatly appreciated.