Rally for Rick!

As many of you know, Rick De Ruyter is suffering from a lung disease called Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). Essentially a scarring of the lungs which does not allow proper transfer of oxygen and co2. It's an extremely ugly disease and he has been battling it for five years, which is basically the timeline someone has with IPF has to live. On Thursday, January 11th Rick had an Acute Exacerbation or worsening of his lung condition causing a mandatory transfer via airplane to the UW Madison Hospital. He spent 10 total nights in the hospital and a portion of those were in the ICU. The lung transplant surgeon took a look at his heart and determined with his history of coronary artery disease, he was too risky to perform lung transplantation on.

Since bringing him home from the hospital, he has beat the odds and is doing considerably well. He lost a bit of weight and his BMI is now nearing the optimal transplant range and he has been using his cardio equipment to stay active. As a family, we informed the transplant coordinator of how well he has been doing and the surgeon decided to reconsider and take another look. He went in for a heart catherization on Thursday, February 1st and all three of the stents he has in his heart are clear! On Wednesday, February 7th, we got the news we were long waiting for that Rick was placed on the lung transplant list at UW Madison for bilateral lung transplant (double lung). Depending on how the pulmonary team values his lung allocation score, he could potentially be very high on the list. The shortest wait time we have heard of at UW has been only 8 hours and the transplant center performs about 35 lung transplants per year. All we can do is hope for the best. We are beginning to prepare for "the call" and anticipating to spend about a month in Madison for post-op care.

The transplant team recommended setting up a fundraising effort to assist with out of pocket expenses such as lodging, meals, transportation and post-op care to get Rick healthy. All we ask is that you keep Rick in your thoughts and prayers as he recovers from this horrible disease. If out of the generosity of your heart, you would like to donate, any unused portion of the fundraising will go to a foundation that supports curing or caring for others with IPF.

If you would like to know more about IPF, a scholarly link can be followed below:


Also out of respect of our families privacy, please do not post or ask for updates via facebook. It is our means of creating awareness but still want to keep the intimate details private. Please call one of the family members for updates on Rick. We appreciate any kind gestures as he recovers but live plants and flowers are not allowed during the recovering process for lung transplant patients.

Thank you for your support and for your best wishes for Rick. We can’t wait until he is healthy again and able to enjoy life without dragging a tank around.


The De Ruyter Family
  • Kesler & Sam De Ruyter 
    • $100 
    • 51 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 54 mos
  • Matt/Angie Gerard 
    • $100 
    • 54 mos
  • Don Boyea 
    • $100 
    • 57 mos
  • Nancy & Bob Lamers 
    • $100 
    • 57 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Kevin DeRuyter 
Seymour, WI
Richard DeRuyter 

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