My name is Cosimo. I’m a husband, father, and grandfather and I live with a chronic respiratory disease.
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 had 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!