Thursday, July 03, 2008

Transplant Stories

Although some of the big-time life decisions that I make are different from those of my friends with CF, that doesn't keep me from sharing in their joy to some extent. I may not always agree with why they make their choices, and I don't always understand their reasons behind them, but that's not for me to decide.

One such issue of lung transplantation. I am not in favor of it for myself. I don't wish to trade one set of serious medical issues for another. I couldn't face the possibility of organ rejection, or of any number of complications that may arise from the procedure. The people I know who have had transplants have had experiences that vary across the board. One person has had multiple transplants as her new set of lungs has fallen victim to rejection. Another young woman has is now battling cancer (some sort of transplant related leukemia--something I had never even heard of!) Yet another young woman is, at this moment, undergoing one of the riskiest types of lung transplantation imaginable due to the severe deterioration of her existing lungs.

From what I can tell, lung transplantation is not all it's cracked up to be. The odds of still being alive 5 years after transplantation is only 50%. Not exactly impressive odds. Also, in the United States, patients have to foot the bill themselves for their transplant. Some say you can't put a price tag on a second chance at life, but apparently you can. How is a person with CF, who is obviously so sick that they need new lungs and is unable to work, supposed to come up with the money for a transplant? The very idea boggles my mind.

Instead of raising money for a transplant, I'm raising money to help find a cure. We need to cure CF, not just pretend we can fix it with a transplant. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the leader in funding independent research to develop life-prolonging medications and treatments for cystic fibrosis. They pay for research that the government won't. Please consider donating to the CF Foundation on my behalf. Someday CF will stand for Cure Found.

Please donate to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Wow, you're wonderful.
Hey Lauren,

I just wanted to let you know that it is not true that CF people have to pay out of pocket for their transplant. Especially in CA if you have GHPP, transplants are covered by insurance. I just wanted to make sure that you had the right information, because that is a big statement, that we have to pay for the procedure, when many, everyone I know, has had their transplants covered by insurance. I hope you are feeling better soon.... I am sorry you have such reactions to the meds. One thing I do to help that is to take prednisone when I get the drugs, it helps me with my side effects....
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