Thriving Despite a Rare Lung Disease with Nicole Wipp

Today we are speaking with Nicole Wipp whom has been diagnosed with Lymphangioleiomyomatosis, a rare lung disease. She has been thriving and helping others despite the difficulties she has faced. 

Her Worst Health Moment 

Nicole spent over 30 days in the hospital and was diagnosed with a rare lung disease. She was told she would have a lifespan of up to 8 years and she never allowed that belief to enter her mind. Many others living with this have not survived and Nicole had some survivor guilt to work through. She faced post-traumatic stress and was able to find a mindset of gratitude and thanksgiving.

It takes courage and requires the vulnerability to share a personal story with the emotional and physical challenges that one has been through. If you find these stories helpful please reach out and encourage our guests or thank them for their bravery.

Her lowest moment was when she was told that it was mostly in her head by her doctor. It was before she had to have surgery to remove fluid that kept filling up her lungs and it felt very scary and dark at that time. She had a chest pipe put in and a bronchoscopy and she felt so horrible and didn’t know what her life was going to look like. There was a lot of fear because she didn’t know what was wrong with her and she told her Mom and Husband that if her life was going to be like this she wouldn’t want to live.

The Turn Around Point

Nicole is a research subject at a Government research facility that really drives a lot of the medical research. The doctors told her on her second visit that they can’t even tell she is sick. This was good and bad as she never expected to be told that and at the same time it caused a bit of survivors guilt. Once she was able to mentally work herself out of that place, she found extra meaning to associate with everything she does.

A Closer Look

What about you changed the most from this experience?

Nicole has a greater deeper appreciation for what she has and less on what she doesn’t know. She is a very driven person and being competitive drove her most of her life, now she doesn’t worry about it anymore. She is much more at peace with who she is now.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

“Never stop taking care of yourself. An experience like this shows you that in order to take care of others you must take care of yourself.”

Share one of your personal habits that contributed to your healing.

She doesn’t allow anyone to dictate how she feels about pretty much anything. She was told the prognosis was a 5– 8-year lifespan and she would not believe it to be true.

Her Resource

She mentioned this podcast and other inspirational stories have helped. She told us that when you are going through a hard time, knowing that other people have gone through them even though they are hard, even though it doesn’t make her feel better, it helps to stay grounded and get through.

Grand Finale

What are you passionate about today?

Nicole is passionate about helping people find their strengths and work doing what they love. She told us that there are a couple of tools that will help you get started finding a way to live a life that makes you happy. Strengths Finder, put it into use right away, she sees people leave it on their computer for too long.

She tells us you can find out your strengths by asking your friends and those close to you what they see you are good at. How can you take away the things that suck the life out of you and do more of what you love? You can listen to the whole audio to hear her talk more on this topic.

Parting Guidance

Be the best person you can be. Be proud of the person you are. Usually, the things that are most valuable to us are the things we take for granted. Don’t take your self for granite.


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