Are you aware that pulmonary fibrosis means scarring in the lungs, and there is no cure? Scar tissue builds up in the walls of the air sacs of the lungs and eventually makes it hard for oxygen to get into your blood.
About 40,000 people die each year in the United States from pulmonary fibrosis. About 50,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. Many people with the disease live only about three to five years after diagnosis.
Pulmonary fibrosis is now the leading indication for lung transplantation in many large transplant centers. For more information go to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation website (pulmonaryfibrosis.org).
It saddens me that pulmonary fibrosis is a rare disease that is very deadly yet there is very little awareness of it even though September is Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month. It hurts when you contact newspapers and TV stations requesting reporting on pulmonary fibrosis awareness and get no response.
It’s worse when you get a response that it is not newsworthy. It is newsworthy to 200,000 pulmonary fibrosis patients and families.
Kevin Olson of Platte City was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis in 2014. He graduated from West Point in 1976 and served in the Army until 1987, achieving the rank of captain. He retired from network engineering at Fort Leavenworth’s Network Enterprise Center. He and his wife, Dana, have a son, James, and daughter, Teresa.