Many of you close to me over the past several years have been aware of a growing problem that has robbed me of oxygen, caused labored breathing, and drastically hampered my quality of life.
In Decmeber of 2013 after more than five years of misdiagnoses, it was confirmed that I have Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. IPF is a terminal disease with no known cure. Medical science has not determined exactly what causes one to contract this terrible disease. That said, in my case it is believed to be from exposure to a chemo-therapy drug I was given during cancer treatment in 1991.
Following my diagnosis, I left my position in the furniture industry. As my lung capacity drastically decreased, the travel that my job required of me became impossible. It was hard enough to go around the house or to the store, let alone fly in an airplane. The loss of income has has had a serious impact on my family. Supporting the household and one daughter still in college has made this difficult battle that much harder.
I have been left with only one option to save my life: a double-lung transplant. Without it, I have mere months left.
Over the past six months I have been placed into a program by the lung transplant team at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.
The survial rate for the lung transplant operation is very good, better than 80 percent. Foollowing the operation, I will spend the first week post-op in intensive care and the next week in the general hospital area. From there I will move into an extended-stay facility for three months. During this phase I am in the gym three times a week and in the MUSC transplant clinic two times a week for blood work and checkups.
If all goes well, at the end of four months I will be released to travel home.
Most of the expense of this ordeal comes from the cost of the rejection drugs, around $3500 per month, to ensure that my body does not reject the lungs after the surgery. My housing, food and transportation in Charleston, in addition to doctors visits and rehabilitation, cost upwards of $4000 dollars per month during this time, not to mention the cost of maintaining my home and the rest of my family in Myrtle Beach.
In order to get through the next four months I am going to need help from everyone who reads this letter. I am humbly asking for your support, however much you wish to give. I need your help so that on the other side of this ordeal I will be able to live and enjoy the time I have been given with my friends and family and fulfill the gift of new lungs.
I have set up an easy contribution site and will supply each of you with receipts for your contribution at tax time if requested. I apprecaite all of your thoughts, prayers and financial support as my family and I navigate this difficult and trying time.
Again thank you so much,
My father and mother are the kind of people who help someone in need. My dad has six children, three of whom are adopted. He repeatedly has taken friends and family alike under his roof in their time of struggle.
Now it's time for us to help him. In 2013, my father was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. This disease involves scarring of the lungs that makes it increasingly difficult to take even normal breaths. He is currently on oxygen 24/7 and has a difficult time getting around these days. Many of my father's doctors believe that a drug given to him during chemotherapy (he had cancer 22 years ago) is the underlying cause of this disease.
Without a double-lung transplant, my father's disease is considered terminal.
Finally, after what seemed like thousands of tests, he has been put on the list for a lung transplant. Even in the best circumstances, this is a serious surgery that costs a lot of money.
My father has a big heart. His big heart has taught my heart to strive to be just as big. Can you compete? Whatever you can pledge will be greatly appreciated. And I know that my father's life is one with which he is not finished. The love you show with your pledge will be matched with my father's love and zest for life for the rest of his. We appreciate any help you can offer. Thank you.
The Parris Family
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