In November 2012, our family experienced the miracle that is a double-lung transplant.
My twenty-six year old cousin, Zack, was born with Cystic Fibrosis (CF); a genetic disease that causes mucus build up in the lungs which in turn causes scarring and easy infection. CF can also cause problems with other organs such as the pancreas and liver, but most damage takes place in the lungs.
While breathing treatments and complications from the disease had always been a part of his life, Zack's health took a turn for the worse in early 2011.
"I was hospitalized in February of 2011 for a couple days and it seemed to take weeks to recover, but I didn't recover to my level I was at before the hospitalization. That was when I began using oxygen while I slept. In June I traveled home for my sister's wedding and my health fell apart even more. I spent three weeks in the hospital, with a day pass to attend my sister's wedding, as I struggled to stabilize. I was then put on oxygen around the clock and my breathing treatments went from twice a day to four and quickly to six."
"Shortly after that the discussion of a transplant began and the process for getting listed was underway. Several months of testing and retesting to look at specific things that might be a potential problem pre or post-transplant and I was accepted and listed for double lung transplant."
In November 2012, Zack received the call that they had a set of healthy lungs waiting for him at the UCLA Transplant Center. He went right to the hospital, and after a night of very little sleep, was brought into the operating room for the big transplant.
The surgery was smooth, and Zack has been home recovering and sharing his story on his personal blog (http://cfdeepbreath.blogspot.com/)
Advancements in medical technologies and procedures such as organ transplantations provide thousands of individuals with second chances at life every year. For individuals with CF, receiving a lung transplant can provide them benefits that can no longer be achieved through medical therapies.
This year, I will be running the Hapalua Half Marathon in honor of Zack as well as the person who graciously made the decision to become a donor. I am hoping to raise $1000 that will be donated to the Lung and Heart Transplant center at UCLA.
Everyday is a good day to breathe, let's raise some money to help give another person the chance to start breathing deeply again!
More info about CF if you are interested...
Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide). A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that:
- clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections; and
- obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food.
People with CF can have a variety of symptoms, including:
- very salty-tasting skin;
- persistent coughing, at times with phlegm;
- frequent lung infections;
- wheezing or shortness of breath;
- poor growth/weight gain in spite of a good appetite; and
- frequent greasy, bulky stools or difficulty in bowel movements.
In the 1950s, few children with cystic fibrosis lived to attend elementary school. Today, advances in research and medical treatments have further enhanced and extended life for children and adults with CF. Many people with the disease can now expect to live into their 30s, 40s and beyond.
Once you’ve joined our team, re-visit thehapalua.comto register for the half marathon or create relay teams. Use discount code “Breathe” (case sensitive) and pay only $20 to register for the half marathon, a $60 savings ($70 savings after Dec 16th). Use the code and only pay $40 for a relay team of up to 7 people, a $40 savings!" When using the discount code, all we ask is that you raise at least $100 for our team!
Click the big DONATE button or go one step further and help us fundraise by clicking on the CREATE YOUR OWN FUNDRAISING PAGE button to the right. You'll get your own fundraising page to share with all your family and friends!
ALL DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE.