Susan Pearlstine Sarcoidosis Center of Excellence & Owner, The Bend
I hate to hit you with this word right off the bat, but I am very personally invested in improving lung health. I have Sarcoidosis. Sar-coid-o-sis. Trust me when I tell you that I feel so fortunate to be participating in Lip Sync For Lungs because there are many, many Sarcoid patients that are disabled with debilitating breathing issues.
I will never forget that moment, ten years ago, when I walked up a flight of stairs and had to double over to catch my breath. It was one of the scariest things I’ve experienced. Since then, with the right medicines (which are both expensive and painful), I mostly live life on my own terms. Yet, about once a year I have a flare-up that exacerbates shortness of breath and a constant cough. Before my diagnosis I loved to take long adventure treks. Having Sarcoidosis means there’s no way I could do that now. My diagnosis led me to establish the Susan Pearlstine Sarcoidosis Center of Excellence at MUSC to improve the lives of other Sarcoidosis patients and their families. There is currently no cure for Sarcoidosis, but the Sarcoidosis Center is working toward that goal every day.
Lung disease has affected me personally, and it’s also affected others in my life. Two years ago, I lost a close friend to metastatic lung cancer and my brother-in-law’s sister, Beth, is currently fighting for her life with metastatic lung cancer.
Professionally, I used to be a beer seller in a multi-generation family distribution business—Pearlstine Distributors. Then, for a short period I was a beer seller at Palmetto Brewery. These days I’m focusing my energy on a redevelopment project at The Bend on Azalea Drive in North Charleston.
I’m excited to share my passion for our community by participating in Lip Sync For Lungs this fall. It’s going to be such a great experience and a perfect platform to educate others about lung health. Thank you for supporting me as I take the stage on September 26th!