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Tammy Rothacker's Fundraiser:

Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation in Honor of Robert D. Lockhart

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BENEFITING: Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation

EVENT: 2016 CWHC Chicago Marathon

EVENT DATE: Oct 09, 2016

Tammy Rothacker


SUMMARY: If you do not know me, my name is Tammy, I am 47 years old and this year I am running my first FULL Marathon in Chicago. Illinois is my home state and I grew up with many family memories of Chicago. Therefore, I knew if I ever committed to a Full Marathon, it would be in my home state and favorite city, Chicago, Illinois. This marathon is not just being run for me to accomplish something. I am running it in Honor of my father, Robert Lockhart, from Wellington, Illinois who passed away from Pulmonary Fibrosis on March 16th, 2015. I am running this very personal marathon to raise funds for the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation and raise awareness of this horrible disease that took my father in such a short amount of time. If your heart feels like doing so, please donate ANY amount to this cause.

DETAIL: In December of 2013, my father collapsed in the middle of the night. After a check-up with a doctor that ordered a stress test, my father was admitted for heart surgery. His heart was healthy but he had 4 blockages. In January of 2014 dad had open heart surgery. When dad went in for his post-op check up, the doctor wanted him to go see a lung doctor. He suspected something in dad's lungs. A month later my father was diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis. There is no cure. I am not a doctor, but what I saw after that was my father depressed and not wanting to do anything or go anywhere. He knew he had a disease that couldn't be cured and I suspect didn't know how to deal with that. In June of 2014, dad got pneumonia and ended up on 100% oxygen. The oxygen helped and for a while he was the closest thing to "dad" that we knew. From that point on, dad didn't even make it a year. In January of 2015 dad had minor pneumonia. He came through it well and went home after a few days in the hospital. In February of 2015 dad was again hospitalized for pneumonia. Sadly, this was his last hospital visit. On March 16th, 2015, my father, at only 65 took his last breath at about 3:30 am. Less than 14 months after my father was diagnosed with PF, he passed away. 17 months previous to that he was still working part-time, mowing the yard, doing his normal daily routine. Other than some shortness of breath, he was healthy. He was active. He walked around their culdesac and had recently lost 40 pounds. My mother and father had been married since 1968. They were high school sweethearts. As you can imagine, losing someone that seemed to be healthy in that amount of time has been traumatic for all of us. And there was nothing we could do to cure...NOTHING. Pulmonary Fibrosis PULMONARY FIBROSIS (PF) DESCRIBES A CONDITION in which the lung tissue becomes thickened, stiff, and scarred. The medical terminology used to describe this scar tissue is “fibrosis.” The alveoli (air sacs) and the blood vessels within the lungs are responsible for delivering oxygen to the body, including the brain, heart, and other organs. All of the body’s functions depend upon delivery of a steady supply of oxygen. As lung tissue becomes scarred and thicker, it is more difficult for the lungs to transfer oxygen into the bloodstream. As a result, the brain, heart, and other organs do not get the oxygen they need to function properly. In some cases, doctors can determine the cause of the fibrosis (scarring), but in many cases the cause remains unknown.  There are four general categories that can lead to the development of fibrotic lung disease: those of unknown or undetermined cause, those that arise from a systemic autoimmune disease, those that are associated with exposure to an agent known to cause PF (occupational, drug induced and environmental as well as infections), and those that have an inherited or genetic component. My father was told he could have been exposed to something years ago that caused this or it could be this, or it could be that.... The answer was they disn't know!

This terrible disease kills over 40,000 Americans EACH YEAR and there is no cure. Could the open heart surgery had anything to do with it? Seems odd doesn't it that an otherwise healthy male of his age would all of a sudden have a deadly, incureable disease? IPF causes "crackles" at the lung base. If this was there for years wouldn't a doctor somewhere have heard it? What would you think..if I told you that acute pulmonary fibrosis may occur secondary to infections, pulmonary embolism, pneumothorax, or heart surgery. It may also occur in half of these patients without an identifiable cause.  What this means is this. In over half of cases where patients have had one of the above 4 situations, they can attribute the cause of the IPF to that situation. 

Every person that I have found out has IPF since learning of this disease, has had recent open heart surgery. Every single one. These are just a few of the reasons I want to bring awareness to this disease by running this marathon. This is a horrible disease that has no specific CAUSE nor CURE. Again, over 40,000 Americans die yearly from this disease. Please help me bring awareness TODAY to save lives TOMORROW! Tammy



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