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Local Woman Battling Rare Disease

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WAVERLY (KWWL) -

A local woman isn't letting her life-threatening disease stop her from living her life.
She is one of 600 people in the United States with the disease and now she's sharing her story with the goal to inspire others.
 

Playing with her two youngest children, you can't tell Rebecca Lalk has been battling a life-threatening disease for 13 years.
 "Its called Fibrosing Mediastinitis and we call it FM for short,"explained Rebecca.
 

 Its caused by a fungus most of us have been exposed to, but Rebecca's immune system reacted differently.
 Now the disease is attacking her lungs and heart; making it hard to breathe and causing extreme pain and exhaustion most days.
 

"Like I said, I was turning purple because I wasn't getting any blood flow," explained Rebecca.

 Speaking with Rebecca, her outlook on life is positive.
  "She is the strong one," said her husband, Tim Lalk. "This year she has had every inch of her body scanned or imaged, or poked and stuff like that. She still works full time and does most of the cooking and cleaning. She is definitely strong and she is amazing and I look up to here."
   

 But she's had her moments when she felt like letting the disease win.
   

"I remember when that doctor told me we needed to focus on the quality of life not the quantity. I came home for that appointment and I was crying. My parents, we all went our own ways and I was just was so upset. I caught a glimpse of a scrapbook that I had done for my daughter, I started looking through that and I thought, there is so much more to life. I am not going to let this be it," said Rebecca.

It is moments like these Rebecca shares in here book, hoping others can draw strength from similar things in their own lives.
       "So my book is not just about the disease. It's about life because everybody has their obstacles. It's just how you make that conscious effort to go forward," said Rebecca.

Doctors gave Rebecca ten years to live after she was diagnosed with the disease.
At this time, she has outlived that expectancy by three years and will continue to fight fore many more.
Experts say there is no cure for the disease -- and few treatments.
 

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