Evin J. Evans, of Split Creek Farm, fell in love with goats when she was a teenager. When people ask, "How come you got into goats?" she answers, "I didn't get into goats; they got into me." She now has 350 goats of varying ages on her small dairy farm, and she knows them all by name.
With a background in animal science, Evans began breeding goats with the idea to breed better livestock, "so that every generation was better than the year before." With all the breeding, there was a lot of milk being produced. She didn't want to waste any of it, so she became a Grade A goat dairy in 1985. What followed was her artisanal cheeses and fudge -- which have won many awards. In fact, last year her flavored semi-soft goat's milk cheese won a gold medal at the World Championship Cheese Contest in Madison, Wisconsin.
But then the unthinkable happened. Evans was diagnosed with hypersensitivity pneumonitis. This is sometimes referred to as farmers lung, which can develop after prolonged exposure to moldy straw or hay. In Evans' case, her allergic sensitivity is due to contact with the goat's proteins. "It's been the biggest blow to my identity," says Evans. "I tell people if I had been put in a room and asked to be as masochistic as I could be and write my own demise, that I couldn't have come up with this diagnosis."
Earlier this month she underwent a double lung transplant at the Medical University of South Carolina. As of today, she is making good progress in her recovery -- far from her goats.
Evans plans on returning to the farm, and for the farm to continue production. Knowing her exposure to the goats will be less than it used to be, Evans's doctors are working with her in order for this to happen.
We wish her all the best in her recovery.
Originally posted on Cooking Up a Story.