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Health Team

Second lung transplant is 'miracle' for singer with cystic fibrosis

Posted December 24, 2012

A young Alamance County woman born with cystic fibrosis is celebrating the gift of life. In October, she received her second lung transplant in five years, and she’s ready to pursue her dreams.

Last year, Nicole Graziano sang on the NBC “Today” show and shared her story about being born with cystic fibrosis, an inherited disease that causes thick, sticky mucus to form in the lungs and intestines. It can also damage other organs.

She had a lung transplant at Duke Hospital in 2007. Then last summer, at 22 years old, her body started rejecting the first set of donor's lungs. She and her parents hoped for a second miracle - another donor - before time ran out.

“I don't know whether I would have been here this Christmas,” she said.

Nicole Graziano Singer gets third chance with lung transplant

It took eight weeks, but the call came Oct. 31.

“It's an absolute miracle,” her father, Frank Graziano, said.

Despite growing up with cystic fibrosis and all the medications and the daily therapies, Nicole still pursued her dreams of a Broadway career.

“I think the moment I hit the stage or start singing, before my first transplant, it's like I didn't have CF at all,” she said.

She thought her dreams - and her life - might be coming to an end until her second miracle transplant

“And now, at the end of the year, I've got a whole new lease on life,” she said.

Her priority is her health and building up strength, and then the sky's the limit.

“I'll do some auditions and get into some shows and live my life,” Nicole said. “My dream is to be on Broadway.”

She her parents know none of it would be possible without people willing to donate their organs.

“They do nobody any good taking them with you, but they will save a life or many lives down the road,” Frank said.

The Graziano family is working through Carolina Donor Services to request a meeting with the donor's family.

6 Comments

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  • JustOneGodLessThanU Dec 27, 3:33 p.m.

    I've always been an organ donor. Are you? When I'm dead, they can have and harvest anything that they want. And unlike 97% of Americans, I'm vegan and a workout fiend, so we're talking good stuff here. :-)

    I also work hard to make life better here-and-now for people less fortunate...all year long...not just one day in December.

    Bottom line: Humans make these wonderful situations possible...not the supernatural.

    Think of polio...how it was humans who created a vaccine to stop a disease that maimed and killed children for thousands of years...while the gods looked on. Think of the 30,000 children who starve to death on planet earth every day.

    We humans must fix this or it won't get done. Step up.

  • smdrn Dec 27, 9:43 a.m.

    Yes, there is a lot of science and know-how behind transplants. But the miracle is finding the match. Whether or not you believe in a higher power, it's like winning a huge Powerball lottery all by yourself. My 11 yr old nephew wasn't so lucky. He died before a donor was available. And as a former transplant Case Manager, I have seen too many people not get their miracles either. Transplant success stories are miracles. You can do everything right and take the best anti-rejection meds on the market and still not make it. So there is something more than science at work here.

  • DaddysAngel27 Dec 26, 5:01 p.m.

    @allinfantsareatheists: Keep you're immature posts off of here, no one wants to hear you're negativity or sarcastic comments! It is a miracle that she had gotten a second set of lungs! I am thankful and thank God that she did. I lost my 11 mth. old grandson to CF.

  • chrisnrali Dec 26, 3:30 p.m.

    alldumassesareliberal, Just can't stand someone else with an opinion or belief that differs from yours, can you? Do everyone on here a favor and keep your sarcastic dribble to yourself. btw isn't there a march or parade in chapel hill you're missing? Get off your mothers computer and clean you bedroom.

  • heelsgirl05 Dec 26, 1:07 p.m.

    @allinfants, it is pretty impossible to get a first set of lungs, let alone a second set of lungs. Maybe not a miracle, but pretty close to it. No one in this article was trying to deceive people or deny recognition to those who deserve it. That is not why healthcare providers (nurses, docs, etc.) even enter the profession. they enter it to help people like this lady here. It even says at the end the family wants to meet with the donor family.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Dec 26, 12:15 p.m.

    That's a great story, but how about sticking to the facts?

    Science, education, training, medicine and loads of other rational, human actions made this possible. These stories couldn't be more anti-miracle.

    Thank you, to all humans involved with this who worked hard, often for your entire lives and with great personal sacrifice, to make these success stories possible. Keep up the great work!