Dear Kappa Epsilon Family,

Some of you may remember when I spoke briefly about LAM at the National Convention this summer in Orlando. We need your help to make our Balloon Challenge Campaign viral!

Two years ago as our first semester of pharmacy school was drawing to a close, I sat down to lunch with a dear friend and colleague. She had just turned 40, her daughter had recently started kindergarten and she had just been diagnosed with emphysema. After seven years of countless doctors visits and increasing difficultly with completing routine daily tasks like laundry and carrying groceries, she insisted on a CT scan. The results were shocking. She wasn’t a smoker, but her lungs revealed the damage of a person who had been smoking for decades. Still her symptoms didn’t quite fit with emphysema. I watched my friend struggle to know what this diagnosis meant for herself, her child, her family, and her career. There were so many questions and so few answers. On December 23rd of 2013, Laura saw a specialist and was diagnosed with a rare lung disease called Lymphangeoleiomyomatosis (LAM).

The LAM Foundation.  With her diagnosis, came an invaluable resource and community, The LAM Foundation. For 20 years the LAM Foundation has been working to  raise awareness and has been on the forefront of supporting research for this rare and terminal illness.

Thursday, August 20, the Beta Mu Chapter of KE, on campus at the University of North Carolina-Asheville, is launching a Balloon Challenge Campaign to raise awareness about this disease and funds to support research. We invite and encourage you to watch the attached video for instructions on how to complete this simple but powerful challenge. We hope with your help we can save the lives of thousands of women!!!! If this disease is caught early, the prognosis is very good.

It is my hope that no woman has to struggle to find the correct diagnosis as my friend Laura did. With your help we can change the face of this disease!

Libbie Dellinger
President, Beta Mu Chapter

Photo: KE Members of Beta Mu and Beta Omicron at the 2015 National Convention in Orlando, sporting their LAM bracelets.  Chapters on campus at the University of North Carolina-Ashville and Wingate University, respectively.