'I want to dance again'

Lung transplant gives mom, grandmom, wife Alanna Tootoosis
the chance to enjoy life to the fullest 

As a native Canadian from Poundmaker First Nation in Saskatchewan, Alanna Tootoosis has been a pow wow dancer her entire life. She grew up in a family of dancers, and she and her husband, Sidrick Baker, of North Dakota, have raised their four grown sons as dancers, too. 

But several years ago, Alanna was sidelined from the competition and sport she loved second only to being a mother, grandmother and wife. Rheumatoid arthritis, which scarred her lungs from the age of 26, had made it nearly impossible to breathe. A lung transplant at a Canadian hospital restored her lung capacity, but only for a three years before her body rejected the organs.

After remaining on a waiting list for donor lungs in Canada for a couple years, Alanna learned about St. Joseph’s Norton Thoracic Institute, which performs more lung transplant procedures than most facilities in the United States, while still maintaining better than average survival rates. 

Although Phoenix was miles away, Alanna had good reason to entrust her fate—and her future in dancing—to the experts at St. Joseph’s.