Charity Partner Second Wind Assists Lung Transplant Candidates & Recipients
Since the mid-1990s, the average number of lung transplants per year has grown from 400 to over 2,000. Second Wind Lung Transplant Association has worked to improve the quality of life for lung transplant patients, lung surgery candidates, people with related pulmonary concerns and their families, caregivers and friends since 1995.
Gracie Poole is a sweet 9 year-old who likes to dance and loves to learn. She also has a chronic lung disease and is actively waiting for a double lung transplant.
“There’s not that many organizations that provide financial assistance for lung transplant patients,” explains Gracie’s mother, Jennifer Poole. “The people at Second Wind were very encouraging because they were transplant recipients as well. They know that side of it.”
For families like the Poole’s, who relocated from Alabama to Houston in March to wait at Texas Children’s Hospital for Gracie’s lung transplant, the gas and grocery cards provided by Second Wind offered much appreciated support.
Each year, Second Wind is a Hike for Lung Health charity partner to raise funds to provide this kind of assistance to recipients, candidates and their families. With 400 members throughout the world, including the US, Australia, South Africa, the UK and Germany, Second Wind has small but powerful presence. Together, this year’s team has to date raised over $4,500 through Hike for Lung Health. These proceeds go to Second Wind’s Financial Assistance Fund.
Life while on the lung transplant list is unpredictable. Patients can be called in for a transplant at any time. The Poole family must always be ready to head out the door in case lungs become available for Gracie. In addition to financial support, Second Wind tries to be there for recipients as an emotional bedrock.
Cheryl Keeler, Second Wind board president, is a bilateral transplant recipient herself and joined Second Wind after using their helpline to gain background information on transplantation. “In addition to the helpline, we provide connections and information to members through our newsletter, Airways. The Hike for Lung Health provides much needed dollars that we in turn give to families like the Pooles,” Keeler shares.
Currently, Second Wind’s Hike for Lung Health team has 27 people. You can join them – in Chicago on Sunday, September 17 or as a Virtual Walker – to help raise funds to support those, like Gracie, who are waiting for a lung transplant.
The Poole family is grateful for Second Wind’s assistance, as the family needs all help available while they wait for Gracie’s new lungs. As Jennifer noted in a post to Caring Bridge, “Gracie is doing really well which is good. She needs to be the best she can be going into transplant… whenever that may be.”
Hike for Lung Health brings hundreds of people together at Lincoln Park each year to raise awareness and funds for healthy lungs and clean air. The one- or three-mile walk benefits organizations that support lung disease research, education programs and advocacy efforts. This year’s event is being held Sunday, September 17, 2017 and kicks off at 10:00 am. Pre-registration is $15. On the day of the event, registration is $20 and begins onsite at 8:30 am. Find more information about the Hike for Lung Health.