BENEFITING: Donate Life Connecticut
ORGANIZER: Donate Life Connecticut
EVENT DATE: Oct 11, 2014
Hi! I'm Becky and I'm so excited & proud to be running for Team Donate Life CT for the second year in a row! This year, I will be running my very first Half Marathon!!
Why is Donate Life so important to me and my family?
My husband started to experience shortness of breath in the Fall/Winter of 2009. By the following Spring, he was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). He was 33 years old and our daughter was 1 1/2. His doctor tossed out "lung transplant" pretty early on, but also seemed to think there were treatments that he could try to delay the inevitable. He sought the advice of several specialists, endured countless tests & traveled across the country to seek the advice of doctors at the #1 Pulmonology Hospital in America. All while getting progressively sicker. Three weeks before our 2nd child was born, in March 2011, we learned, in no uncertain terms, that he would DIE without a lung transplant and he needed one SOON. He was put on 24 oxygen and put on heavy doses of steroids and chemotherapy drugs to try to slow the progression of the scarring on his lungs.
A few weeks later, we began the screening process in the Transplant Clinic at Columbia. He was accepted into the program, but was deemed "too healthy" to be actively listed, in August. A few weeks later, he suffered a pneumothorax and was placed in the hospital, where he stayed for several weeks. He missed our daughter's 3rd birthday. His status on the UNOS list was finally activated. His strength had declined so drastically from not being able to walk more than a few feet at a time, that he had to spend time in a rehab hospital, where he was placed on a unit with people on ventilators. He missed the "Snowmageddon". He missed Halloween. He was deemed too well for the rehab facitlity but too sick to go home, so he went back to the hospital. They just couldn't get his lung to stay inflated so they injected his lung cavity with a chemical to create scarring to try to adhere the lining of his lung to the inside of his chest cavity. He had to have this incredibly painful procedure done SEVEN times over the course of his hospitalization and he was finally sent home with a pig tail chest tube on Thanksgiving night. He was home for 20 days before spiking a fever late at night on December 14th. He was gasping for air & motioning for me to crank up the output on his oxygen concentrator. I will never forget the look of fear on his face or the pit in my stomach as I watched my father-in-law drive him away, not knowing if this was the end. They began treating him for pneumonia and throwing every medicine they could at him, as nothing seemed to be working.
On December 18, 2011, my husband received the call that every person waiting for transplant prays for. It was his transplant coordinator, letting him know that they had a pair of lungs that they thought were just perfect for him and would he like to accept them? He was still in the hospital, so he would be LifeStarred to NYC. He called me to let me know and my heart dropped and I got butterflies in my stomach, simultaneously. This is what we'd been waiting for, hoping, wishing & praying for! But it was one week before Christmas. Someone had to lose their life so that my husband could have his back. There was a family, mourning their loved one, but this individual and their family, in their grief & sadness, was giving our family the most amazing, selfless Christmas present ever. The gift of two HEALTHY lungs. The gift of life.
On October 11th, I will run 13.1 miles in honor of the individual who saved my husband's life and saved our family. For the person whose identity we may never know, but gave our girls back their Daddy. For the greatest hero I never knew.
I will also run for those who can't because they're among the 122,000 people waiting for transplant in this country. Unfortunately, 18 people will die every day simply because an organ did not come in time. We want to change these statistics. More registered donors means more transplants...MORE LIVES SAVED.
Donate Life Connecticut is dedicated to increasing the number of registered organ and tissue donors through outreach and education.Together we can raise awareness! Together we can save lives!
Thank you for your consideration! Wish me luck!
If you would prefer to mail your support, please send to: Kari Mull c/o Donate Life Connecticut - PO Box 278, Durham, CT 06422 & reference my name in the memo field.