Lung-a-versary and Great Strides

Saturday was a really special day. Not only was it the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Great Strides 5k walk. It was also my the one year anniversary of my brother-in-law’s double lung transplant. What a reason to celebrate!

Our friends and family gathered at Fair Park prior to the walk. Last year just a handful of us participated. This year, we had a big group, a transplant-recipient, and matching t-shirts!

I personally raised $419 and our team as a whole raised $2,275 ! Thanks to those of you who donated! I know that times are tough these days and money is tight for lots of people. Every little bit helps, and I’m so excited that we raised as much as we did.

We were a little late getting started, but there was no rush. The fun thing about Great Strides is that most people just take their time and enjoy the walk. It only happens once a year, so I made sure to soak it all in and take tons of pictures.

Ben and his girlfriend, Sorelly, during the walk.

While we were walking, I took the opportunity to ask my Ben (the brother-in-law) some questions – I’m nosey like that. He said that the most common question he gets about the lung transplant is, “Did it hurt?” So, did it? Not really. (They had him on a bazillion drugs; that probably helped some.) I even got to see his scar, which doesn’t look that bad; it’s relatively faint. It goes horizontally across his chest below the nipples. (I joked that it looked more like he had breast implants taken out than new lungs put in.)

In the past year, Ben has really gotten to enjoy life. He works, he works out (we even ran a race together), he has a girlfriend, he got his own apartment and a puppy, and things are good. Just last year, he was stuck in the hospital for going on 6 months. None of this would have been possible with out his organ donor. We don’t know who gave their lungs to Ben, but we are forever grateful. I am acutely aware that this weekend marks one year since the donor lost their life. I made sure to say thanks and send good vibes to their family. I don’t know the pain they must feel over their loss, but I hope they can find some comfort in the fact that their loved one has blessed our family immensely.

Post Great Strides, it was time to grub up. The crew headed to my mother-in-law’s house where she had quite the spread. Everyone hung out and just enjoyed each other’s company. I made sure to get in tons of nibbling. (Everything was deelish!)

What a day! Thinking about Ben’s lung transplant makes me feel (a) lucky that my body works as well as it does, (b) thankful that there are people out there willing to donate their organs, and (c) happy to see someone as deserving as Ben get a new lease on life. These lungs couldn’t have come to a better person. Happy one year lung-a-versary, Ben! May these lungs serve you well for many years to come!*