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A 50-Year Wait

Sabine Pitschula knew she was sick, but it took decades to uncover the cause: primary immunodeficiency.

PI patient Sabine Pitschula at her dining table

Sabine Pitschula had countless doctor visits and endured an alarming decline in her health until she was properly diagnosed with a primary immune deficiency (PI).

A complex group of more than 400 different diseases, a PI basically means there’s a “bug in the software,” said Pitschula, who lives in Germany. The faulty immune system lacks certain proteins or other essential functions necessary for fending off infections.

“When I finally received the diagnosis, I was emotionally, very relieved, because it was a hard uphill and downhill ride for me mentally and emotionally,” Pitschula said.

The diagnosis and start of treatment were a relief, she said, and she’s grateful she can participate more in activities she enjoys, including yoga.

“My attitude toward life is: You can’t give your life more days but you can give each day more life.”

Pitschula is also thankful for plasma donors because the treatment she relies upon is made from donated plasma.

Plasma is a “very, very important raw material for me,” she said.