Hello! Welcome to Trampus's Budde's Caring Bridge Site. Thank you for following his story and supporting our family. Prayers and well wishes are always welcome. Your interest and care for him is greatly appreciated and cherished. Our motto through this new reality is: "We must be willing to let go of the life we've planned as to have the life that is waiting for us." -Joseph Campbell
Trampus found out on July 24, 2018 that he was in need of a double lung transplant (at age 47) due to his pulmonary fibrosis (a build up of scar tissue in the lungs caused by inflammation). His condition is irreversible and he relies on oxygen 100 percent of the time in order to function. The cause of his lung disease is unknown and irrelevant to us at this point. The Iowa City Hospitals Lung Transplant Center advised Trampus to enjoy his days as much as possible while his quality of life with oxygen afforded him that, while also getting stronger physically for the transplant. That gave him that time to complete dozens of tests needed prior to being placed on the lung transplant list with University of Iowa Hospitals.
Unfortunately, on July 24, 2018, Dr. Trampus Budde was also informed by his pulmonologist that he was unable to work as principal of Pleasant Valley Junior High. This was completely unexpected; Trampus continues to miss the students, parents, and fellow employees at Pleasant Valley Schools. Yet, he does understand that fulfilling his responsibilities with excellence would be undoable in his present condition. The previous school years he had noticed progressively more fatigue, but dismissed it thinking he was aging, out of shape, or just experiencing minor illness. By December 2017, Trampus would arrive home in the evening after school, eat a bowl of cereal and then go to sleep. He felt like he could push through it (or hoped). It was March 2018 when we realized his significant fatigue was a sign of a much more serious issue with his lungs. There still was a focus on healing and resuming normal life.
The direction in July from University of Iowa Lung Transplant Center to enjoy our lives and to have things in order, prior to being placed on the list, was a moment of clarity that was immediate and vividly clear. Trampus worked on disability (not a welcomed label), finances, medical care, and his health. He goes to rehab at Genesis Hospitals in Davenport three days a week, exercises independently on the other days, does not partake in alcohol, watches what he eats, sleeps well, and stays away from people who are ill. Trampus has had the ability to connect more with friends and read. Two activities that bring him much solace. His faith in God and an afterlife have provided him with peace and hope. We are grateful to have a church home at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Davenport.
Trampus has pushed himself to keep moving in the ten months of knowing he needs a transplant, but not being on the list. Days after the news, we made our annual trip to visit life long friends in Minnesota...a joyful, healing family time. We jokingly say, "he's got a good half day of energy." He's focused on utilizing his energy daily. Trampus now takes Liam to his many appointments and is the official "life coach" for his teen daughters. For Anne's 50th birthday, a trip to AZ was enjoyed by the couple. Their first airplane trip since their honeymoon! Living again! Oxygen in tow, Trampus has enjoyed a Bull's game with his high school teammates/dear friends. He made several trips to Cedar Falls to get Grace settled in at University of Northern Iowa. Trampus was able to take Quinn on two visits to his alma mater Winona State. We visited our nephew at University of WI-Madison and watched our niece play basketball in Chicago. And, on Easter weekend, we attended a Cub's game. Trampus's brother-in-law secured a hotel room with a balcony across the street from Wrigley so he could see all the action. Anne and Trampus have ramped up their social lives with dinners with friends. People, time, and love are now our top priority and we are so very grateful for the health crisis that caused this revelation to become more urgent.
Many people have asked us why the wait to put Trampus on list? It is counterintuitive to wait for us too. However, the University of Iowa Lung Transplant Center had educated us about the risks of a lung transplant. There is a five year, 55 percent survival rate. Trampus will be taking anti-rejection medication for life and will thus have an increased risk of various cancers and other issues due to medication. The transplant surgeon and all of the other members of the transplant team tell us a lung transplant is "trading problems for problems" and "it is not a solution." They want Trampus to be ready for the battle and we understand the need to not sugar coat it. This being said, Trampus feels very positive about his chances to be on the right end of the statistics and he follows the directions of his doctors with precision.
Trampus, of course, is a husband and father first and foremost. We all have received the reality with varying degrees of acceptance and denial. Trampus has been our rock through this challenge too, ironically. We have cried together and laughed together more than ever. Trampus told the social worker for the transplant team that he hopes "The transplant and it's challenges serve as an example for the kids to walk through all situations and not to be knocked down." It is also important to both Trampus and I that our kids keep moving with their lives and goals. Grace just completed her freshman year of college and heads back to University of Northern Iowa in the fall. We are hopeful she finds a career path that provides her with a meaningful life in service to others. Quinn will be a senior next year at Pleasant Valley High School. She plans to attend Winona State in MN after that to pursue a degree in Special Education Teaching. Liam will be a 7th grader at Pleasant Valley Junior High School in the fall. This will be a huge transition for him and we all root him on. I (Anne) have completed my 15th year at Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency as an administrator overseeing Student Programs.
Trampus's health crisis has been difficult, however, we have received more blessings than we can count. The love of family, friends, and the Pleasant Valley Community has been more plentiful than we could articulate. It has been humbling to accept meals, yard work, gifts of time, and numerous other generosity. We recognize that all of you live very full lives and just that you think of us or offer prayers uplifts us. Thank you! Please continue to enjoy your own families and the blessings in your life. Much love....from the Budde Family!