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As you all know, Don was born with Cystic Fibrosis. Diagnosed at the age of 3, he was given 9 more years to live. He outlived all that prediction, graduated high school, college, got married and started a business. When Don was in his 50's, he was hospitalized for the first time for a CF exacerbation. His lungs began degrading quickly and they said he needed a transplant.
2 years ago at this time, Don was just getting on the transplant list. Every night, I was listening to his breathing and thinking how short his exhalations seemed and wondering how much longer we could go on like this. He was cold all the time and very underweight. He was using oxygen just to get up the stairs to get into the house. He was using oxygen to sleep at night. He was spending 3 hours per day breathing medication from a nebulizer. His coughing fits were so bad that I often wondered if he would be able to get his next breath. As happy as we are that Don got a transplant and breathes easier now, we wish that it didn't come to this. People who have lung transplants live under the ever present threat of getting sick and having that sickness cause rejection of the new lungs. We didn't have a choice. Today, 2 years later, people are beginning to have a choice: A new triple combination drug has been submitted for FDA approval. We know people who have already taken this drug and seen great results. This is what we have been working for.
These drugs have come too late for Don, but the continued work on Cystic Fibrosis will help others and focus on the disease could still Don and others like him who have already had transplants. Also, there are still people with genetic mutations of CF that are not treatable by these new drugs. So we continue to ride. Please support us. As I have said above, Don and I will match what you give.