There are many times you hear the expression, “That took my breath away.” For lung transplant patients there is one thing that will do just that, rejection. Statistics say that within five years of a lung transplant, almost half of all recipients develop BOS, which is a debilitating and irreversible type of rejection. This is called chronic rejection, because it is irreversible. The five-year survival rate of lung transplantation is among the worst of all commonly transplanted solid organs.
As a lung transplant patient, I was well informed of what the “chances” were when I decided to opt for a double-lung transplant in 2oo8. I knew full well that this wasn’t a “cure” but rather, it was kind of like swapping one disease for another. Most all lung transplant patients constantly have the thought of rejection in the back of their mind, even while living our lives to the fullest extent possible. It’s just a fact we live with day to day.
What is rejection?
An organ recipient’s immune response in which cells in the body recognize a transplanted organ as different from the rest of the body and attempt to destroy it.
Not a pleasant thought to live with, but reality nonetheless.
Because lung transplantation is still a relatively rare procedure, research funding for this area is significantly insufficient. There are NO effective treatments for chronic rejection and doctors have only theories as to what leads to the high rate of rejection incidences in patients.
Enter organizations like the Lung Transplant Foundation. They are leading the charge to raise awareness and funds to counter the lack of support from the National Institutes of Health. While research continues at ever-increasing rates, there is still a GREAT need for additional funding in this area.
Please consider joining their cause and help raise support as well as awareness!
Together, we can help breath new life into lung transplant research and return the breath of life to many!
Visit their website for more information and find how you can get involved.