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What is Alpha-1?

"Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (Alpha-1) is an inherited condition. Alpha-1 may result in serious lung disease in adults and/or liver disease at any age."

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Thoracic Society (ATS) recommend Alpha-1 testing for anyone with COPD, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, uncontrolled asthma, unexplained liver disease (including children), or panniculitis.

The Alpha-1 Foundation is the premier location for Alpha-1 info on the web. At the center of much research and education, the Foundation is committed to finding a cure for Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency and to improving the lives of people affected by Alpha-1 worldwide. The Foundation's website is comprehensive and reliable:

New Excursions section:
All New England Alphas and their circles of loved ones are invited to share: support group schedules and other info, featured events, Alpha-1 stories, exercise routines, handy tips, photos, recommended articles, personal writings, poems, jokes, and anything else I've missed.
Alpha groups beyond New England are welcome to send their website address for our Links page. My email address is Looking forward to years and years of service.
-Peter Cook
Jamestown, RI

  • Follow any links to original sources to make you own judgements
  • Check in with a support group
  • Be sure to consult your physician before acting on any material shared on this website

On a personal note, I've been way pleased with my infusions over at Newport Hospital. Sam Evans, my pulmonologist, is everything I hoped for in a specialist - keen intelligence, attentive, and patient-centered "like the old days". Everyone on the staff at the Infusion Center has been wonderful. They're knowledgeable, efficient, and caring. I've told them that it's their heart, their love that keeps me going. One of the nurses has a son the same age as my grandson. It's fun to compare photos and stories. I've been making paracord bracelets for the staff and other infusion patients, taking a bag of bracelets in every week. All the extra clippings from the bracelets are already going to our 6 year olds. The bracelets left over at the end of the year will be donated to Hasbro Children's Hospital's Giving Tree.


Massachusetts Alpha-1 Support Group Meeting
Thursday, April 12, 7-9pm
Wingate Nursing Home
589 Highland Avenue
Needham, MA 02494

Speaker: Erica Ciolfi, RRT with Winchester Hospital Pulmonary Rehabilitation Clinic
Topic: Importance of Pulmonary Rehab

Dinner will be provided

For more information or to RSVP by April 10th, contact Support Group Leaders:
Judith Vargas-Vila at (978) 371-9782 or Richard Vargas-Vila at (508) 654-6514 or email:
Informative Brochures
Each in "pdf" format. If you need the free PDF Reader, visit Choose the free Acrobat Reader DC, not the Pro version.
Better and Better and Better

Fred Walsh, long-time AlphaNet coordinator for Mass. and RI and twin brother of the late John Walsh, is doing well after a double lung transplant. Here's Fred at this year's Escape to the Cape bike trek.