Michigan ranks 44th nationally in organ donors and 3,000 people in our state are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant – including our own Quota GR alum, Deb Blackmore.
Deb suffers from a chronic disease called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), “IPF is a condition in which over a period of time the lung tissue becomes thickened, stiff, and scarred. The development of the scar tissue is called fibrosis. As the lung tissue becomes scarred and thicker, the lungs lose their ability to transfer oxygen into the bloodstream. As a result, the brain and other organs don’t get the oxygen they need. In some cases, doctors can determine the cause of the fibrosis, but in most cases, there is not a known cause. When there is no known etiology for the fibrosis (and certain pathologic criteria are met) the disease is called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis or IPF. IPF affects approximately 200,000 Americans and an estimated 40,000 Americans pass away from IPF each year.”
You can find much more information about this horrible disease by visiting the IPF Foundation web site at http://www.pulmonaryfibrosis.org/.
Deb is approaching the one year-anniversary of her acceptance on the Michigan donor registry for a double-lung transplant. Because she is relatively small in physical stature, locating an appropriate body-type transplant for her is even more of a challenge. But she remains positive as she waits. In the meantime, she is on oxygen, 24/7, and her quality of life has been extremely diminished. It’s very hard to watch someone we love go through this.
So, what can we do to help Deb and others like her besides sending prayers and cards of support? We can each start a movement within our own networks of family, friends, fellow Quotarians and co-workers to urge people to sign up to be an organ and/or tissue donor. It’s easy to do. Just visit the Gift of Life Michigan web site at http://www.giftoflifemichigan.org/.
If we each send this to our networks, and they send this to their networks – we can make miracles happen for people like our dear friend Deb who so desperately needs this. What better legacy to leave than to help someone else live?