Cannes Design Shortlist — Bird droppings can lead to a fungal infection that gets in the lungs, bloodstream and the eyes. The CDC estimates overall, each year in the U.S., there are about 500,000 exposures, 5,000 hospitalizations, and 800 deaths due to histoplasmosis. Problem is, thousands of people are being misdiagnosed as its symptoms are similar to asthma, bronchitis and pneumonia. Including myself. After being misdiagnosed for a full year, this disease nearly killed me in 2008 and resulted in losing a third of my right lung. I consider it my mission to raise awareness of histoplasmosis so doctors consider it as a possible diagnosis and patients know what questions to ask.