Friday, August 5, 2011

Lungapalooza 2011

Why the organization Lung Transplant Foundation means so much to me:

This organization means so much to me for many reasons. The biggest reason is that my doctor, who stepped down from the medical director's position of the lung transplant program at Duke to put his main focus on research, truly does care for his patients. He is pouring everything he has into finding ways to prolong the lives of his "older" transplant patients, i.e. those 5+ years out from transplant.

The Lung Transplant Foundation was started by a fellow Duke lung transplantee, and although the entire board of directors is somehow affiliated with Duke or the area, the organization's goal is to branch out to other medical facilities to fund research there that focuses on extending the lives of lung transplant patients. Research at ANY center can benefit lung transplant recipients from around the world!

Because the lungs are the only transplanted organ that is exposed to our outside environment, they are susceptible to pollutants in the air, and this is just one more reason the lungs tend to reject quicker than any other transplantable solid organ in the body. Eventually, those of us who've had lung transplants will get chronic rejection in our lungs (scarring from our body's defense system attacking the foreign organs). My doctor's research focuses mainly on finding treatments to slow this down, and hopefully one day find a cure for it. This foundation is the only one of its kind, and with the funds the organization hopes to receive through awareness/fundraising, they hope to expand it, so that many research hospitals throughout the states can have grants to further their work.

All of us who get transplants want those few extra years to spend with our families and live our lives. We are told from the beginning that a transplant isn't a cure, it's just an extension of life. We all think at the beginning that getting another 5 years to live will be satisfactory. Although, it is wonderful to have those extra years, after you get there, you want more. Of course I am to the point of one day hoping to see my grandchildren born. I hope with the LTF's fundraising, and with doctors like Scott Palmer, Scientific Director at Duke, I and so many others like me, can look forward to a normal life expectancy after lung transplant.

Please sponsor me in the Lungapalooza 2011: A Walk for Breath which benefits Lung Transplant Foundation. You can go here to sponsor me in the walk, and you can read all about Lung Transplant Foundation here.

Thank you for helping save the lives of me and of many of my closest friends! XO

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