Rob Garbutt of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada lives with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis or IPF (one of the most common types of pulmonary fibrosis, where the cause is unknown). Before his pulmonary fibrosis (PF) diagnosis, Rob was very physically active and enjoyed skiing, waterskiing, and mountain biking. After a bout of flu 11 years ago, Rob realized something was not right when he couldn’t seem to recover as usual.
Rob was first diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and then later with IPF. For about eight years he was able to continue with his activities until in 2019, he was “hit really hard” with an exacerbation and hospitalized for a week. His PF has since worsened over time.
Rob still tries to remain as active as possible – with an incumbent bike pulled by his dog Maggie, his “best friend,” or by hooking up to his portable oxygen tank on his dock at the cottage. “I’m not one to be stopped,” he says.
Rob is supported by his wife and dog Maggie. He sometimes get frustrated by the changes in his abilities, but belonging to a support group does help. In the meantime, he is waiting for the call for a lung transplant.
We celebrate Rob for his courage and thank him for sharing his pulmonary fibrosis journey. If you or someone you love is experiencing breathing difficulties talk to your doctor.