An Amazing Tale of Yoga, Friendship, Love & Survival!
Chris and Stephanie MoDavis are Bethlehem natives that teach Yoga and Wellness in the Lehigh Valley. They have been married for 10 years and share so much more than their mutual love of Yoga.
Stephanie began taking Yoga in 1999 as a requirement for a dance company. “I had all sorts of preconceptions regarding yoga and most of them were wrong.” Soon enough she fell in love with everything Yoga. “I noticed the physical benefits first then I noticed the mental benefits as well.” Soon her and Chris were practicing yoga together as a hobby along with lots of hiking, biking, and disc golfing. They had a healthy active lifestyle but that was about to change.
One year into their relationship Stephanie noticed that she was loosing energy and wasn’t feeling well. They made a few doctors visits and no one seemed to give them any answers. Her health continued to decline and doctor’s visits became hospital visits, one after another. One year later she received the diagnosis that would forever change their lives together. Systemic Lupus Erythmatosis is an auto-immune disease where the immune system is overactive and simply attacks itself. The disease affected Stephanie’s heart, brain, lungs, skin, hair and eventually caused her kidney’s to deteriorate. In 2004 she began dialysis treatments to cleanse her blood because her body could no longer do it. Chris became her primary caretaker and support system through this. “Together we turned a really dark situation into a bearable one through lots and lots of laughter,” Stephanie said. After 2 years of dialysis treatments she was eligible for a kidney transplant. Chris wanted to be the one to help Stephanie but unfortunately he wasn’t the same blood type. With the help of one of her doctors Stephanie found out about a program at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore called the Incompatible Paired Exchange Kidney Program or as we call the kidney “swap” program. This would allow Chris to donate his kidney in order for Stephanie to receive a kidney that matched her blood type. Six months later they received the call for their surgery. “When I went to tell Chris, he said “you look like you’ve seen a ghost” and I said “they’re ready for us!” Little did they know there was another couple in a similar bind. New Jersey couple Fran and John were about to swap kidneys with Stephanie and Chris but what they didn’t know is that each husband matched the other’s wife perfectly. They underwent this life-saving surgery in 2006 and now have become wonderful friends.
Chris and Stephanie both attribute much of their strength, endurance, and humor to deal with difficult years to their love for each other and Yoga. “Through my yoga practice I knew in my soul that this was happening for a reason. I needed to fight my hardest for Chris and also knew that one day I could help others cope with illness and trauma.” And that’s exactly what they are doing. “It’s a true blessing to be able to have survived and come full circle!” From school children to other transplant patients to those just looking for some down time, they enjoy teaching real people with real lives.
For more information about Chris and Stephanie and also a listing of classes check their website at www.myyogamos.com
Or you can contact them though email at firstname.lastname@example.org