Life with LAM

Sarah Poitras

Marketing Professional | Founder, Accessible Itineraries | Certified Professional Coach, Brooklyn, New York

Age: 42 | Diagnosed at age: 30

“I was diagnosed with LAM six months after my husband Justin and I got married. Any thoughts about starting a family were dashed, and we had no idea how long I’d be healthy. It was devastating and we went into shock.

Traveling changed everything. We had a trip planned just a few months after I was diagnosed. We thought about canceling – we were terrified and not ourselves – but my doctor urged us to go and keep living our lives. It was beyond scary to get on that plane not knowing if my lungs would collapse mid-flight, but it was the best thing I’ve ever done.

Once we got to Spain, for the first time in months we actually had fun. We were able to go stretches at a time without being sad and afraid. Being in a foreign country demanded that we think about things other than our pain and our fear. Experiencing new sights and sounds and foods took us outside ourselves. The trip gave us a new perspective on life and on living with LAM. In travel, we found a way to not necessarily escape our lives, but to truly be happy living our lives.

Since my LAM diagnosis, we’ve visited nearly 60 countries together, spent over a year on the road, and lived for four years in Europe. Travel inspires and challenges me, and has helped both of us cope with me having this disease. I’m not sure what the future holds, with life or with LAM, but I hope that exploring even more of the world will be a part of it.”

– Sarah Poitras

This excerpt is from Breathe, Just Breathe by Jennifer Fujikawa. Share your own story during Worldwide LAM Awareness Month, tag @thelamfoundation on social media, and use the hashtag #WWLAM to raise awareness for LAM with your friends and family.

Read more about Sarah and Justin’s travels including tips for traveling with LAM and flying with oxygen at Travel Breathe Repeat.