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Patient Stories

Patients come here from around the world to receive treatment they can’t find anywhere else.

Read stories about:

Catching Her Breath

New test allows runner to break boundaries on the track

A hacking cough and loud breathing during exercise are not normally associated with an elite athlete. But, Candace Wollert was a contradiction – competing nationally in the 800 meter run and breaking records at the University of Wyoming – all while struggling to breathe.

When Candace started running in college, she developed a deep cough that only went away when she stopped running. Her chest also burned and felt raw. Doctors diagnosed exercise-induced asthma.

By her junior year, Candace was taking five different asthma medications and throwing up weekly during hard practices. The tipping point came when her coach saw her struggling and made her stop running.

Read Candace's Story


  • Allergy Stories

    “Look Papa, They Fixed Me!”

    A chance encounter led the Balay family to National Jewish Health, where they were finally able to find a successful treatment for atopic dermatitis. Read Ryder's story.

    See all allergy patient stories

  • Cardiology Stories

    Looking To The Heart For A Cure

    Paula Dodds was surprised to learn she had been born with a heart defect. Read Paula's story.

    See all cardiology patient stories

  • Infectious Disease Stories

    A “Picc”-Me-Up During Treatment For MAC

    Marcia O’Bryan’s pursuit of “the best” care for her respiratory condition not only guided her to National Jewish Health; it also led to her discovery of an innovative medical product that would become a thriving business. Read Marcia's story.

    See all infectious disease patient stories

  • Respiratory Stories

    Seeking Help For An Aggressive Lung Infection

    Joan Ottenritter was a busy mother of two living an active life in Baltimore when she learned she had a rare, potentially deadly disease lurking in her lungs. Read Joan's story.

    See all respiratory patient stories

Patients Making a Difference

Charitable Remainder Unitrust ‘a Win-Win Situation’
By establishing a Charitable Remainder Unitrust with the donation of farm land in Iowa, Sally Bartalot and her husband, Robert, were able to give back to National Jewish Health and receive income for the remainder of their lives.

A ‘Win-Win’ for Donor and National Jewish Health
After donating to National Jewish Health for more than a decade, Elisabeth Szegho of Chicago decided to set up a Charitable Gift Annuity. In return for her donation, she will receive a fixed amount each year for the rest of her life.

‘Do Some Good’
Jack Hersh of California has focused his giving on hospitals that provide charity care and also conduct medical research. Through internet research, Jack found National Jewish Health, which fit both of his criteria. He has been a donor to the institution for more than two decades and recently set up a bequest in his will.