Your Donation Can Make a Difference!
Transplant Type: Lung
Since that photo was taken 10 years ago, I've completed 9 full marathons (26.2 miles) and 12 half marathons, including the Boston Marathon 3 times. My lungs prevented me from running, so I walked them. The point of that image is to demonstrate that even people with severe breathing problems can achieve amazing results through a daily fitness regimen, and I believe that it's this exercise which has kept me alive over all these years. But, no matter how hard I try to stay healthy, my exacerbations are getting more frequent and my quality of life diminishing. Im short of breath pretty much all the time now.
My name is Stephen Gaudet, my blog readers know me as Breathinstephen. Like millions of others, I developed asthma as a young child. Unfortunately, my asthma never went away... it only got worse. Now after literally hundreds of severe exacerbations, my airways have become permanently damaged and don't function the way they should. Over the years Ive tried almost every medication and treatment available, but so far as nothing has helped stave off these attacks or improve my tenuous lung function.
In early 2016 after suffering several more near fatal exacerbations, requiring multiple intubations and mechanical ventilation, I was referred to the UCSF lung transplant dept for a consultation. After reviewing my case it was recommended that I complete the full evaluation, so that I can be prepared for lung transplant if the time comes. I have now completed that evaluation and will follow up with the transplant team every few months until they feel the time is right for listing... what they call the "transplant window".
What makes my case so unusual, is that unlike Cystic Fibrosis, IPF or COPD, there is very little precedence for doing a lung transplant on a person based on severe asthma. Because it's difficult to determine the long term prognosis for an asthmatic, other criteria has to be used making this a longer and more complicated process than is typical.
As you might imagine, the costs associated with lung transplant are astronomical, in excess of one million dollars in the region where I live. And while I'm extremely lucky to have medical insurance that will cover most of the medical bills, it doesn't cover everything. I still have to come up with substantial funds to pay for both pre and post transplant related expenses not covered by insurance. This also includes temporary housing near UCSF for 6-8 weeks while recovering from the surgery. Because I have a very small income, the only way I can do any of this is through the charity of others. So here we are.
I hate asking for help because I know how tight money is for many, especially for those who are battling their own health issues. But, without the support of others I simply can't move forward with the process. If you can afford to help, that would be awesome. No amount is too big or too small, every little bit will make a difference and is appreciated more than you'll ever know. Unlike most crowdfunding sites, monies raised for the National Foundation for Transplants on my behalf can only be used for authorized medical expenses and your donations are fully tax deductible. Should my transplant status change for any reason, any funds collected and not used for my medical care will be retained by NFT in order to help others undergoing transplants.
Thank you for your kindness and support.
You can help by making a tax-deductible donation to NFT in honor of Stephen. If you'd prefer to send your gift by mail, please send it to the NFT California Transplant Fund, 5350 Poplar Avenue, Suite 430, Memphis, TN 38119. Please be sure to write "in honor of Stephen Gaudet" on the memo line.
Thank you very much for your generosity!
Patient's Healthcare Provider: University of California San Francisco
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