Sunday, September 6, 2009

Girl Runs a 5k at 11% Lung Function

Here's yet another reason why I have no excuse...

A young woman who needs a life-saving double lung transplant is taking on a challenge of a lifetime today when she attempts to complete part of a five kilometre run.

Jessica Wales is taking part in the Adidas Challenge in Hyde Park, London, but has decided to walk it to ensure she has a better chance of hitting her target.

She suffered a deadly chest infection in April, and is now battling for survival.

But the brave 20-year-old is taking on this physical challenge to raise money for the transplant charity Live Life Then Give Life, known as LLTGL.

Jess, from Westgate in Thanet, was born with cystic fibrosis, the UK’s most common genetically inherited life-threatening disease.

Its devastating progression means her lungs are now useless and completely beyond repair, so a massive transplant operation is her only hope.

They are functioning at a mere 11 per cent of their capacity.

She now relies on an oxygen supply 24 hours a day and a non-invasive ventilator to keep her lungs going when they regularly start to tire.

So it will be against all the odds for her to finish the challenge, which for her will be gruelling.

Jess in unable to even wash her own hair or put on her own socks, so walking any distance will be a huge physical strain.

She is hoping to walk at least 200m per kilometre, with the total aim of walking one kilometre out of five.

LLTGL chairman Emily Thackray said: “Jessica has been waiting for her new lungs for over four years now and already doubled the two years predicted survival she was given by the doctors back in 2005.

“It is heartbreakingly sad to think that this amazing girl may well not be here to see her 21st birthday.

“The work she continues to do to raise awareness for organ donation is incredible; she is a true inspiration.”

Jess said: “A lung transplant for me will be literally life changing. It will mean the whole world to me.”

She wants to raise money for the specialist Cystic Fibrosis unit at Kings College Hospital in London, where she is a patient.

Jess said: “It is vital that cystic fibrosis sufferers receive the appropriate healthcare to ensure a better quality and length of life.

“The CF unit at Kings College Hospital provides a home from home for those frequent and often lengthy stays and all proceeds will be donated to the centre to help others like me.”

Jessica will be accompanied by a team of specialists from Kings College Hospital, to support her throughout the event.

Cystic Fibrosis is one of the UK's most common life-threatening inherited diseases which affects over 8,000 people by attacking internal organs, especially the lungs and digestive system, by clogging them with thick sticky mucus.

This makes it hard to breathe and digest food.
Each week, five babies are born with Cystic Fibrosis and three young lives are lost to the disease.

**Original article can be found at http://www.kentnews.co.uk/kent-news/Battling-Jessica-puts-her-best-foot-forward-today-newsinkent27790.aspx

Pretty awesome huh?

8 people had something to say...:

LittleM said...

I love it, Ronnie, very inspiring.

Cara said...

Well, I officially feel like a huge slacker! She is amazing!

Jessica said...

amazing and I wish her the best of luck!

Lovin Lane said...

Wow, what an awesome girl....

RunnerDude said...

Man, I will not complain ever againg when I'm getting up for an early morning run and my aching legs are yelling at me to roll back over. This little girl is one awesome dudette! Thanks for sharing her story!

OceanDesert said...

AMAZING!!! ...and I thought I had to wait a long time for new breathers!! 4 yrs is ridiculously looong!!! Whatta tough cookie!

Laby said...

Wow, thanks for this Ronnie! Guess I won't complain how hard the treadmill was this week... She is a very special person to have that sort of willpower and determination!

Katelyn said...

Wow... That's amazing. She is inspiring.