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Amber Behrendt, Boone Hospital Center

Amber Behrendt, Boone Hospital Center, respiratory therapist, felt helpless when a friend, Jennifer Wyatt, RN, asked her about Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency -- a genetic disorder that causes lung disease and liver disease.

"When my friend asked me about the disease, I was unable to answer many of her questions," says Behrendt. "As a respiratory therapist, I felt embarrassed that I didn't know more about this respiratory disease."

Behrendt began investigating the disorder and found out that if Alpha-1 is detected early enough, more treatment options are available. From that moment on, Behrendt embarked on a personal mission to educate the public about the disease.

In 2008, she and Wyatt, whose uncle died from the disease, coordinated the community's first-ever Alpha-1 awareness event, offering free Alpha-1 testing, along with helpful information. Now held annually, this year's event was held October 8, 2011.

Behrendt and Wyatt also started a nonprofit organization called Alpha's Voice to further promote Alpha-1 awareness.

2011 St. Louis Cardinals Health Hall of Fame Starting Lineup
Alton Memorial Hospital -- Cathie Ketterer
Barnes-Jewish Hospital -- Cheryl Cima
Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital -- Donna Stewart 
Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital -- Jennifer Jones 
BJC HealthCare -- Mark Harris 
Clay County Hospital -- Amanda Spillman
Missouri Baptist Medical Center -- Bonnie Wolfe
Missouri Baptist Sullivan Hospital -- Teresa Brown
Northwest HealthCare -- Lisa Weber
Parkland Health Center -- Jana Pinkley 
Progress West HealthCare Center -- Tim Stenzinger
St. Louis Children's Hospital -- Carolyn Davis


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