Three years ago, I went to my GP with what I thought was a persistent cold that I couldn’t shake. He prescribed me different medications, but nothing seemed to work. He then sent me off for x-rays and this is when I was told I had idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).
I remember in 2010 our family went to Sydney on holiday. We were walking around the Rocks, which is a very hilly area. Compared to everyone else, I was struggling to keep up; my breathing felt heavy, and I had constant phlegm. At the time, I thought I had a mild form of cold or flu. I was relatively fit, so thinking back, I guess I ha d IPF then.
After my diagnosis I was referred to a Respiratory Specialist, Professor Fiona Lake, who suggested I take part in a clinical trial at the Institute for Respiratory Health. For the past 12 months, I have been on a trial that looks at the efficacy and safety of a new medication which shows potential in slowing the progression of IPF.
10 years ago, one of my sons tragically passed away in an accident. When we were at the hospital I was asked about organ donation. It was the last thing on my mind, but I felt if we can help why not! Now my wife and I are so happy that we were able to help someone else.
I guess sharing my story is along the same lines. Researchers may not find a cure within my lifetime but if I can help out in a small way, then I would without a second thought!
Researchers at the Institute are currently investigating how cells within the body communicate to initiate and drive fibrosis. Using readily available medication, Dr Cecilia Prêle and her team are testing new ways to alter cell communication to stop the disease. This in turn will help develop a common and effective therapy that may change the future for people living with fibrosis.
- $30 Pays for sample collection tubes
- $50 Assists in processing biological samples
- $100 Pays for 2½ hours of research assistant time in the lab
On behalf of the Institute for Respiratory Health