I have a big goal that really matters to me. Our son is getting married in a little less than two months. We love his fiancé and are thrilled about their wedding.
We’ve been planning how to attend for well over a year. We live in northern California, and the wedding is in Houston — 2,000 miles away.
Plan A = Fly
That was a great plan until eight months ago, when my pulmonary fibrosis worsened, preventing me from being able to continue flying with my portable oxygen concentrator. No POC that I can take on a plane will provide me with enough oxygen to keep my O2 above 92%.
Plan B = Drive
My supportive husband said it was OK, that we (translation = he) would drive us from Northern California to Houston. We knew it would be tiring, taking us six days to get there, because I can travel only a half day or so before getting exhausted.
Driving was our plan until a month ago, when we drove to Southern California for Dave’s father’s memorial service, 400 miles each way. It became evident on the trip that I would be unable to handle a trip to Houston and back. I was too worn out, emotionally and physically.
Plan C = Me Not Go
We were devastated that I might be unable to go to the wedding. We didn’t want to give up until we scoured the internet for other ways to get to Houston. It’s not in my nature to give up until every possibility has been examined.
Plan D = Find Another Way to Fly
I discovered I could charter a plane equipped with big tanks of oxygen to fly to Houston. It is basically an air ambulance. A wonderful solution, but expensive. It would cost $39,000 round-trip. This would include the plane, pilots, having a medical person on board to monitor my oxygen levels and watch over me, the pilot’s and medic’s expenses in Houston, gas, O2, etc.
Paying for this would be difficult under the best of circumstances. It will be especially challenging at the moment, however, because we have spent $50,000 out of pocket over the last three years for my treatments for breast cancer and pulmonary fibrosis.
We’ve sold some things on ebay. My husband sold half his theological professional library, and there are stocks we can sell, but the cost of the trip will still be out of reach.
So, last week I created a fundraising page on YOUCARING to see if friends could help. I posted the link to the fundraiser (which can be found here) on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. And I will be contacting others who might want to help.
It was a lot of work, but worth it, because this is the one event I want to attend before I pass away from pulmonary fibrosis.
I did not post the link to ask pulmonary fibrosis readers to donate. In fact, I do not want you to.
You have your own medical costs, and no doubt your finances have been decimated by this disease.
I posted it to show you a way to raise money for something close to your heart. I’m laying it all out here. We have limited time to live. We need to make the most of it. If you need help, please ask for it.
How about you? What really matters?
Do you have an event you really want to attend?
Is there a piece of medical equipment you could purchase that would increase the quality of your life, such as a POC, O2 concentrator, Stairlift, or Ramp?
Is there a treatment you’d like to try?
Is there a trip you want to take, or a dream you want to make come true while you can?
Is there a legacy you want to leave for your family, friends or community?
Please listen to your heart when you answer these questions. If you need money to achieve an important objective or make a dream come true, consider doing a fundraiser or asking for help from those in your life.
You matter. What is important to you matters. The effort to make it happen is worth it, because you are worth it.
I’d love to hear from you. What made sense or stood out to you in my column? Are there extra steps you’ve taken or ways you’ve asked for help to accomplish a dream? Is there a goal or dream you want to pursue?
Please share this post with anyone you feel could benefit, or on social media. We’re in this together.
Note: Pulmonary Fibrosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pulmonary Fibrosis News, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to pulmonary fibrosis.