UWA cheerleader inspires thousands in midst of double lung transplant

Updated: Apr. 22, 2016 at 4:14 PM CDT
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Libby Hankins following finding out her double lung transplant was going to happen. (Source:...
Libby Hankins following finding out her double lung transplant was going to happen. (Source: Lungs for Libby Facebook)

For 22-year-old Libby Hankins, it feels good to finally breathe easy. Libby was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was 2 years old and has been in need of a double lung transplant.

MOULTON, AL (WAFF) - Read: North AL girl helps raise money for UWA cheerleader in need of double lung transplant

And on Sunday, what seemed like a distant dream finally became a reality for Libby and her loved ones.

"I had just checked Facebook just because and I saw her mom posted and said, 'Libby has lungs and it's a go," said Libby’s friend and sorority sister Caitlin Clardy.

Libby is a student ambassador, a cheerleader, homecoming queen, and a member of Phi Mu at the University of West Alabama, and the friends she has made, like Caitlin, have walked this journey with her.

"She was just like, ‘Watch my chest. I can really breathe it feels so good,’” said Clardy. “It was awesome. I can't really explain it. You can't put into words an experience like that."

Libby's mom said she had just told her she was tired and needed to text everyone and make sure they were ok just before her faith was restored with the news of the transplant.

And social media exploded when Libby's thousands of supporters found out, showing just how many people she has touched with her story.

"It feels good," said Clardy.

The Facebook post about the transplant in the group Lungs for Libby  got more than 7,000 likes and more than 2,000 shares.

"Seeing her with new lungs and being able to breathe easy was the best experience I've ever had," said Clardy.

Only $16,000 had been raised for Libby before the transplant when the numbers soared past $50,000. Hospital bills will cost more than $500,000, so they are still in need of donations. You can donate to Libby here.

There is also a 5K for Cystic Fibrosis tomorrow for which Libby is on the “In Honor Of” list and you can get details about that here

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