Hi, my name is Melanie Cunningham Norris and I am 57 years old. Approximately 10 years ago I found out that I have emphysema and began having serious problems with my breathing. I have worked with my pulmonologist, a wonderful doctor, for all these years who tried to help me manage all the problems that come along with that diagnosis.
Part of the management includes numerous hospital visits which are very frightening and lately being reminded that I am in Stage 4 of this terrible disease. For the last couple of years my quality of life has been a struggle. I am not able to do much of anything that exerts physical energy without setting off a horrible flare up and usually hospitalization. I realize that I have been truly blessed with every single sunrise so far, but my left lung is completely gone and I only have about 30% of the right lung working.
I understand that my time is becoming shorter and shorter with the lungs I have, and it's now or never to try the transplant. So my doctor referred me to Duke University Hospital to be evaluated for a lung transplant. I completed my full week of testing the first week of November and Duke has agreed that I am in my window of opportunity now and decided we need to move forward with a double lung transplant as soon as possible.
In order to proceed, we will have to temporarily relocate to Durham NC anywhere from 4 to 12 months, which includes purchasing a few pieces of furniture and moving expenses, as well as the multitude of medical expenses and travel expenses back and forth to the hospital. I will be working very hard in local pulmonary rehab classes the month of December and moving in January to complete more rehab both before and after surgery to keep me as strong as possible.
I hope to be ready for surgery at the end of January. This procedure will be very straining on my family both financially and emotionally, but I am ready to fight the big fight to earn myself even a little more time with my husband, my family, my grandchildren and my wonderful friends.
I'm telling my story and asking for support for my double lung transplant. Any donation can help me and family with this journey and will be so appreciated from the bottom of my heart every single day.
- sean wolf
- Silvie Bordeaux
- Laura Griffiths
- Olivia Malings (Evan's sister)