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My Journey

I was adopted at birth and for many years have been curious about my family medical history.  A few years ago (thanks to a chance DNA test) I learned I have a rare and potentially deadly genetic liver-lung disease called Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency.  This basically means my liver doesn't produce a protein enzyme that my body needs to protect my lungs, and can lead to emphysema or COPD in someone like me who has never smoked. Any infection I get can lead to irreversible lung damage. If left untreated, it can lead to needing a bilateral lung transplant or death.

Due to the highly genetic nature of this rare condition and the frightening side effects if undiagnosed, the doctors encouraged me to find my biological family to encourage them to be tested as well.

"The 50-Year Secret" is my life saving journey to find them. Thank you to everyone who has encouraged and supported me along the way.

"The 50-Year Secret" is now being made into a Movie!  We finally have a finished screen play as of Sept. 2, 2022.  We hope to start filming by spring of 2023.          Wish us luck!!!

We had a great book launch party on December 10, 2018 at Weller Book Works. Thank you to everyone who attended.

I had a wonderful time at that June 21, 2019 Next Generation Indie Book Awards gala in Washington DC. The 50-Year Secret was the winner for the inspirational - non-fiction category.

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"The 50-Year Secret" is now available (Feb. 9, 2021) in Audible version on and Amazon!  I hope you enjoy listening to my best friend Christina Betz narrating our story!

Thank you for joining me on this wonderful adventure and for all your support! #the50yearsecret, #alpha1

Julie MacNeil

Childhood Photo

Photos of me as a kid

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Funny Stories

I'm 6'4" and that can lead to some funny stories.

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Living with a chronic Disease

It was a bit of a shock to learn I have Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency

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