Dawnell Vaughn's Lung Transplant.

I was diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis in 2013 at the age of 47 at the University of Washington Medical Center.  This condition is heredity in my family on my maternal grandmothers side.  Pulmonary Fibrosis is a rare but serious lung disease that causes the lung tissue to become thickened, scarred and stiff. Most will be diagnosed in their 40's and 50's. It is chronic and there is no cure. There are certain medications that could slow the progression of the scaring it leaves in your lungs and help with inflammation but even so, life expectancy can be short, some living only 5 more years after they are diagnosed. This disease took my grandmother Violet's life in 1974 at the age of 53. It then took  my Uncle Eddie in 1985 at the age of 44 and lastly my mother in 2012 a the age of 69.  It is an insidious disease that chips away at your life until you eventually succumb. I was always a very active and independent person, living a great life and working full time. I was devastated when I had to come to the realization that I had to quit my job that I loved so much in June of this year. I am now on oxygen 24/7 but there are many times I am still out of breath. Sometimes just talking will leave me breathless. I have good moments and bad moments.  Many studies are still being done on what causes the disease. For me, my doctors believe its an auto immune condition.  A lung transplant is the only hope in surviving this disease and having  a chance at any quality of life. Sadly for some, it is not even an option. There are many hurdles to jump through to even be considered for the procedure including being  below the age of 70.  I was determined that I was not going to be on the list of statistics in my family. I was going to survive not only for me but for my family that was never given the opportunity.  After a long and arduous  couple of years, I was just notified that I am officially on the lung transplant list. This is a million dollar procedure that for the most part, my insurance is covering  but there are still expenses that will not be covered including a required  minimum of  3 months living in Seattle so I will be close to the hospital as well as travel, aftercare and caregiver expenses. My family and I have met with the transplant team including the surgeon. We were told to begin fundraising immediately. Now that I am on the list, the call could come at any time depending if I match up to a donor. It could be 2 weeks, or 2-9 months.  Recovery after transplant will not be without difficulty and risks but I am ready for the challenge. It is not easy to ask for help but I know that without the help I have been given to this point and the help I will be receiving after, I would have never made it to this day. I am so grateful for all the support and encouragement I have  been given,  I am humbled and so fortunate to be at this place I am today. Many blessings to you all and thank you for taking the time to read  and share my story.
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Dawnell Marie Bundrant Vaughn 
Port Orchard, WA
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