Laura Rothenberg, 22; Her Audio Diary, Book Tell of Life With Illness

From Staff and Wire Reports

Laura Rothenberg, 22, who recorded an audio diary and wrote a book about her battle with cystic fibrosis, died Thursday in New York City. The cause of death was chronic rejection of a lung transplant, complicated by infection.

To detail her struggle with the genetic disease that causes mucus to build up in the lungs, pancreas and other organs, Rothenberg recorded the two-year-long diary, “My So-Called Lungs.”

The diary was broadcast on NPR’s “All Things Considered” in August 2002.


In her recordings, the young woman described her decision to undergo a lung transplant in July 2001 and the ailments that followed, including lymphoma, diabetes and a broken hip.

She also spoke about a surprise “lung retirement party” given by her friends at Brown University before the surgery.

Rothenberg, an English major at Brown, also wrote a memoir, “Breathing for a Living.” The book is scheduled for publication in July.