Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
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My name is Paul. I had not smoked in seven years when I was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. I looked it up and was terrified by the idea that I might only have 3-5 years to live. Like many lung diseases, it is progressive; aggressive, and always fatal. I knew nothing of transplants because I knew nothing of the process. As the disease progressed, more expensive equipment was required to keep me alive and at home. I went to my transplant screening interview in a wheelchair with two tanks of liquid oxygen on my lap going full blast. My next hurdle was insurance certification for coverage of the medical screening exams. Again, it was out of my hands but insurance coverage was obtained. I passed and became listed. Four months later, I became University of Arizona Medical Center's double lung transplant #107. Because Gary and I have the same donor, we are now brothers forever through transplant. I am doing well but I can't imagine the additional stress level if I had to worry about paying the bills. Unity for Life Tucson tries to fill those financial gaps for both pre and post transplant patient families.