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Always wanted to write your own story?
From Bags to Riches: One Woman's Journey from the Streets to the Stars
Suzanne "Bag Lady Sue" Austin
"From Bags to Riches" records Suzanne's amazing life story. At the age of fifteen, she found herself on the streets with nowhere to go. Although she had some loving, caring adults in her life during the formative years—her aunt, uncle and grandmother—everyone who looked out for her and her brother had died by the time she turned twelve. After suffering abuse from her mom’s boyfriends on multiple occasions, the courts took her from her home.
After running away from county shelters, Suzanne was determined to take care of herself. One night, she saw an ad in the evening paper looking for dancers. They were great money for that time, and she thought, well, I can dance. From childhood, her dream was to see her name in lights on the Vegas strip, so she figured this was her shot. Suzanne would spend many years dancing in bawdy burlesque clubs, and experiencing things most kids never do.
In her late twenties Sue enrolled in a comedy competition through a radio station in her hometown of Pittsburgh PA. She had no idea at the time how this would change the course of her life. Through combining her stripper act and love for comedy, she created the character of “Bag Lady Sue.” The Bag Lady has been entertaining audiences—especially at biker rallies and veteran’s charities—all across the United States for the past thirty years. In addition, she has performed for our troops on and off military bases, and her videos have been shared all around the world.
WARNING: Due to the use of strong language and the sexual nature of the content, this book is recommended or mature audiences only.
Available at www.bagladysue.com
Breathe Free: One Man's Struggle for Life Against All Odds (April 2021)
The story you are about to read is one of my fight for survival. For most of my adult life, I was someone who had few real struggles in life other than the normal day-to-day stresses: raising children, maintaining a healthy marriage, keeping a steady job, etc. That all changed after I turned fifty.
For several years, I lived as if I were drowning. I would struggle and grasp for air as someone who dives down too deep and can’t rise to the surface quickly enough. In the Spring of 2013, my doctor diagnosed me with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, commonly referred to as IPF. As my physical condition continued to decline, my pulmonologist recommended me for a double lung transplant.
I remember my surgeon saying that a double lung transplant is the “Murder One” of surgeries. What he meant was, it is one of the hardest surgeries a human can endure. Surprisingly, the procedure itself is fairly straightforward from a skilled surgeon’s perspective; however, the toll on the human body is intense. The recovery time average is four to six weeks or in some cases, as you will read in my journey, significantly longer.
Without a shadow of a doubt, God’s providence and divine intervention in my life led me to a place where I could receive the best possible medical care for my situation. I can now see how my journey from my birthplace in England to Canada, and on to Pittsburgh—the home of some of the top pulmonologists in the country—was all part of the Lord’s divine plan for me.
There is no question that I owe my life to my amazing medical team at UPMC Presbyterian. But the ultimate physician—our creator God—receives all the glory and honor for my survival. I know that without my faith and trust in God my story would be written by someone else, posthumously.