Take Your Breath Away

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.

http://lungtransplantfoundation.org/main/

A Season of Change

Fall, for me, reflects one of the most drastic seasons of change.

With every fall season that comes along I start reflecting on the past year and where I am in life.  When the leaves start to change, and then eventually yield to gravity and fall, it reminds me of how quickly the things we hold on to tightly in life change and disappear.

There is one fact that still holds true, the only thing we are promised, as finite, flesh and bones human beings, is death.  We are born, and we will die.  Just like the leaves on the trees.  They come out in the spring, and they die in the fall.

The Bible states it best, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die.”  (Ecclesiates 3:1-2a  NKJV)

I’ve had several conversations lately with friends of mine about the “seasons of our lives.”  Perhaps, it’s because I’m getting older and reflecting, who knows. But I’m seeing my life in seasons now, more than EVER before. And I understand now, more than ever, that NOTHING is permanent.  That’s really great news, and freeing news!

Why is it such wonderful news that nothing is permanent?  Because that means there is nothing we can do to change or affect the end result that God has already ordained in our lives.  It doesn’t mean we are just swept along by the winds of chance, or allowed to float aimlessly through life.  It means that try as we might, we can’t control the future, or go back and repair the past.  We are forced to live in the now.  In the present season, if you will.

I LOVE Jeremiah 29:11, and have a plaque with this verse on my nightstand.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (NIV)

The Lord has our plans already laid out, so the pressure is off!

“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”  (Psalm 139:16 NIV)

No matter what season of life you find yourself in, our Father ordained for you to be in it at this time before the foundations of the world!  Rest in it, rest in whatever change there is in your life right now.  Know that He is God and even though the seasons change, He never will!