This is Marissa. There are so many words to describe her....beautiful, loving, selfless, funny, genuine, talented....I could go on endlessly. She graduated this year, with dreams of going to cooking school to get her red seal and specialize in baking, then open up her own bakery bistro. During grade 12 she managed the school canteen and ran the hot lunch program, right down to the shopping lists, cooking, and daily lunch specials....it was the first steps to living her dream. On April 17th 2014, we learned that Marissa was sick, and was officially diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension, a rare uncurrable lung disease. Her case was severe, and would require the strongest medicine available. On April 23rd they inserted a Hickman line through her chest and into her heart, where a pump delivers medicine at short intervals 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Every day we have to mix her medication ( a half hour process) because it is only stable for a short period of time. The medication helped for a little while, and we were starting to manage her symptoms with lifestyle changes. It was difficult for this young girl, who used to love swimming, fishing, skateboarding, and running free, to suddenly have to take frequent breaks when doing simple activities, saunter instead of run, feeling tired instead of being full of energy....but she kept going, and graduated with the rest of her class. We were so proud of her finishing out the year :). She hoped that maybe she could get a simple summer job to earn a little money while the medication worked to help improve her lung function. She just wanted to feel normal again. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. Just when she started feeling better, she plateaued, then started getting worse. She couldn't walk any real distance without feeling out of breath, and her heart pounding fiercely. Her energy level depreciated. Even taking a shower took all the energy she had, and left her feeling tired. A visit back to the hospital in late July concluded that the Flolan medication wasn't working anymore, so they increased the dose and added a pill form of medication. We were told that there was a very real possibility that the medication wouldn't work, and she would need a double lung transplant. Over the next three days she went through test after test after test for the pre-transplant work up...a back up plan, just in case. The doctor's concern was also turning to her heart. Pulmonary hypertension affects the arteries in the lungs and makes them very narrow. The heart has to work harder to try and push the blood into the lungs, and over time, the heart begins to get tired. We needed to reduce the strain on her heart, and quickly. We thought we had found a level that would start working, and off home we went. Less than 2 weeks later, Marissa was air lifted back to Vancouver hospital, and our worst fears were realized...Marissa needs a double lung transplant. We knew it was a possibility, but we had no idea it would become a reality. With the love and support of family and friends, Marissa has endured a difficult road, and we are forever thankful. But now we are asking for help. When Marissa receives her transplant, she will require a caregiver 24/7 while in the vancouver area. She will be in the hospital for a minimum of one month, and must remain in vancouver for a minimum of 3 months after. She will require assistance with her medications, rehabilitation, and therapy, and as she heals she will need help with shopping, laundry, cooking, and all other simple household tasks. I will be her caregiver during this time. Unfortunately I will be unable to work while Marissa is healing, and will require funds to maintain not only our home in the kootenays, but our "home away from home" in vancouver. Please feel free to share this page, so i can help her heal, and begin once again to realize her dream. Thank you for taking the time to read Marissa's story <3.