Martha Miller wrote -
In 2000, I was diagnosed with a rare congenital lung defect and in December 2009 and at 27 years old, doctors in Washington, DC removed my right lung in an effort to relieve my debilitating shortness of breath and general fatigue. The surgery provided relief briefly, but my symptoms returned (and were actually worse) less than a year later.
After more than a year of consulting with dozens of specialists and countless visits to 3 hospitals in DC, Baltimore, and Massachussetts, I was diagnosed with a rare surgical complication -- Post Pneumonectomy Syndrome. My healthy left lung, heart, and entire mediastinum had shifted into the right thoracic cavity causing airway compression.
In August 2011, my family and I traveled to Boston's Massachussetts General Hospital (MGH) where I underwent another major surgery to hopefully correct this surgery. I spent a month in Boston, recovering with the help of my family, friends, and the wonderful staff at MGH.
Why I'm Running
Fully recovered and feeling better than I have in nearly a decade, I want to give a lasting "Thank You" to the doctors and nurses that gave me my life back by making a donation to Boston's Esplanade, a park next to MGH, in their honor. Your donation will go toward park upkeep and improvement projects and help sponsor a bench that will bear a plaque enscribed with words of thanks to my doctors and nurses at MGH.
Situated along the Charles River, I took some of my first weak steps on the walking and running paths of this park. Every day, I walked with other patients, their weary and worried family members, and hospital staff on their lunch breaks. We were all there under different circumstances, but tied together in our pursuit of the strength often found in fresh air, a brief escape from hospital stressors, and some much-needed quiet moments on the benches at the river's edge. The Esplanade played a huge part in my recovery, both physically and mentally, and I'm guessing it does so for many others associated with MGH as well.
To celebrate the end of my 10-year battle for breath, I'm raising money for this donation by training to run a 10k in April 2012. Please join me by becoming a member of the One Lung Run training team. You can make a donation, run/walk with me in April (registration details soon), or simply cheer from the virtual sidelines. Whether you're a regular running nut or an out-of-shape newbie like me, I'm grateful for your support in any form!
Join the team now!