Courage to Care - a column by Christie Patient

Christie Patient is a life-long explorer of the Wild West. She now resides in the Hawaiian Islands with her husband, Jonny and their two four-legged friends. Christie is a full-time freelancer, nature lover, and business owner. She took a break from work in 2019 to care for her mother, Holly before and after her double-lung transplant. Christie’s column documents the experience of her mother’s IPF progression, months-long hospitalization at UC San Francisco, and life-saving transplant. She hopes that her family’s transplant story can provide a unique perspective for other IPF patients and family members.

How to Make Your Event Safer for Vulnerable Guests

As soon as my mom, Holly, was out of the hospital following her bilateral lung transplant, our family began efforts to protect her immunocompromised body. Before she even got the call about available donor lungs, the University of California, San Francisco lung transplant team had educated my family…

In the ICU, We Said Yes to the Hope of a Dress

In the three weeks between my boyfriend Jonny’s proposal and our spontaneous elopement, we daydreamed about a big wedding. We decided to get married before he left for a year of training and school with the Army. Despite our legal union, we still wanted to celebrate with a ceremony of…

Tips for Staying Safe in the Sun While Taking Immunosuppressants

Progressive lung diseases like pulmonary fibrosis cause ripple effects throughout the body. In PF, lung scarring prevents the organs from exchanging gases correctly, resulting in oxygen deficits known as hypoxemia and hypoxia. Chronic hypoxemia, or low oxygen levels in the blood, affects all parts of the body.

Finding Peace and Power With Breathing Exercises

Breathing exercises are an important part of pulmonary rehabilitation. These exercises help keep the lungs healthy and uphold the integrity of the muscles we use to breathe. Practicing these when you have pulmonary fibrosis helps your pulmonary system remain strong, which keeps your body healthy for longer and sets…

The Courage Crew Is Running for Rare Disease Day

I have a problem with inertia. The forces that get my engine firing seem to start late, work slowly, and then combust and burn all at once. It’s a long fuse to a full gas tank. Forget the spark plugs and the carburetor. Whether it is…