On July 31, 2005 I was thirty years old and I got married with all of my friends and family present. My Mother was there in a beautiful pink dress. It actually took her longer to find her dress than me to find my wedding dress and it became a running joke, but it was perfect. She was very happy to see her second daughter get married to a wonderful man.
Soon after the wedding her “asthma” began to be increasingly problematic. After many inhalers and medications she was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). She was 53 years old. We had never heard of this disease before.
In March 2007, my sister had a baby boy. It was the first grandchild, if you did not include my puppy dog Rainy! My Mom could not be happier, and she was doing well, looking healthy and glowing as a new Grandma.
When she got home from Winnipeg after helping my sister adjust to being a new mom, I had great news of my own. I was having a baby too! My daughter Tannis would be born November that same year. She was going to be a Grandma AGAIN in 2007!
In June 2007 she began the downward spiral and was hospitalised by the end of the month. In August we got the miracle call. Someone’s selfless generosity was going to save my mother’s life. She had a double lung transplant, recovery was slow but she was going to be there to meet her granddaughter. I have never felt such debt and gratitude to an anonymous stranger (and their family).
Unfortunately in March 2008, she succumbed to the disease at 56 years old.
Fast forward to June 2015. I am healthy, I have a supportive husband, a seven year old daughter and a four year old son. I have a career, a house and I’m planning my 40th Birthday party. On June 3, 2015 I was diagnosed with IPF.
I had run my first half marathon in June 2014 and I was training for another. I’ve done numerous obstacle fun runs, 5k and 10k races and I felt great.
In October 2014 I caught a cough that I could not shake. I am fortunate that my family Doctor is a personal friend and was right on top of things. She sent me for an X-ray, and then another, then a CT Scan, then to the Respirologist and almost six months later I had my first appointment at Toronto General Hospital in the ILD clinic.
I have been taking Esbriet since June. I am doing my best to maintain my regular routine and some days are easier than others. While I cannot run like I could even a year ago I remain active. I’m trying to adjust to my new reality with the support and encouragement of my family and friends.
On October 19, myself and my team “Lung Time Buddies” participated in the Toronto Waterfront Marathon and raised $4135 for CPFF. I was completely overwhelmed by the support I received from my family and friends!
I have started on my IPF Journey. My priorities have changed but my desire to live every day to the fullest for myself and my children has only grown stronger!