My name is Alan Piacenza and I am an oxygen addict. I can't help myself, I can suck down a bottle of oxygen in less than an hour. Sorry folks, I couldn't resist a little humor. These days laughter is much better than crying or feeling sorry for myself so I choose the lighter side to get me through.
I was in Afghanistan for over twelve years in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and I was blessed to have survived every attack that came my way. Unfortunately I am currently in the toughest battle of my life and once again, I'm fighting to stay alive. In February 2022 I was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmanary Fibrosis (IPF). Specificly, its the scaring, hardening and honeycombing of the lungs which makes it difficult for oxygen to pass into the bloodstream. Its a nasty little disease that has no cure. My condition is advanced and I only have 1/3 lung capacity. If you would like to know what that feels like, find a coffee stir straw and breath through it. Then run about 100ft without removing the straw. Now you know what I deal with every day.
Although there is no cure, there are medications that can help slow the progression and in some cases stop the disease. I am currently taking Ofev which seems to be helping slow the progression but has not yet stopped the disease. Unfortunately there is no way to reverse the damage. The only hope is a lung transplant and yes, I am currently a candidate in the lung transplant program at the Ochsner Transplant Institute in New Orleans La.
The good news is, I have been approved for transplant and I am awaiting placement on the transplant list.
The bad news is, I need to raise at least 100K for a successful recovery. Although my insurance will cover the main financial burden of the procedure, we will still need a substantial amount of assistance to pay for non covered immunosuppressant drugs after the transplant. The only way to survive any type of transplant is to suppress your immune system so your body does not reject the new organ. I will be on the immunosuppressants for the rest of my life and Ochsner Transplant Institute just updated me with the current pricing. All the meds cost between 6 and 7 thousand per month and according to Ochnser, my insurance will not cover all of it. Ochsner is also requiring me to have at least 6 months worth of living expenses in reserve since I will be out of work for at least 8-12 months after transplant. Oh joy!!!
I have no idea why all of this is happening to me and I guess I'm not supposed to understand. As a Christian, I know God has already laid the path I am traveling and my future is predetermined by God. Thats why I'm not worried about raising the funds. I believe God brought me to this challenge and he will bring be through it. I refuse to lie down and simply give up.
Thank you for your prayers, consideration and assistance.