Dealing With Cystic Fibrosis

A “Benefit for Teri (Sanden) Starkey” notice was on the Our Lady of Angels bulletin board this Sunday.

The event was Saturday, July 29, and in Litchfield; a town south and a bit east of here, about an hour and half away.

I saw the notice a day late to do anything by Saturday, but figure I could pass along what I learned.

She has cystic fibrosis, and needs new lungs. The clinic in her area wouldn’t or couldn’t do the procedure.

The good news is that an outfit in North Carolina will. However, getting a chance to keep her alive means raising money to move her to North Carolina, plus her two kids and husband. That’s something like a thousand miles away.

My guess is that the family has above-average medical expenses, too.

That’s pretty much all I know. A little additional information clipped to the notice helped me find these links:

I didn’t know about the Lungs4Life Foundation before today, and haven’t learned anything more than what’s on part of their website. It looks like a good idea, though. No pressure.

Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis doesn’t kill folks, not exactly. Folks affected by it often die from infections or other trouble in their lungs.

It’s a genetic glitch that probably showed up about five millennia back.

Scientists started noticing connections between not-obviously-related disorders and deaths in the 19th century.

Dorothy Hasine Anderson put the pieces together and described it in 1938.

We can’t cure cystic fibrosis yet. There’s some promising gene therapy research in progress, but that won’t help folks who need new lungs now.1 Happily, we’ve been getting better at organ transplants. It’s not ‘just routine,’ though.

“Risky Double Lung Transplant” in the News


(From AlexiusHoratius, via Wikimedia Commons, used w/o permission.)
(Delano, Minnesota.)

Minnesota woman moving to North Carolina for risky double lung transplant
Paul Blume, KMSP/Fox9 News (July 4, 2017)

“A Delano, Minnesota woman with cystic fibrosis is fighting for her life. And with options running out, she’s set to move her family more than 1,000 miles.

“Teri Starkey needs a double lung transplant, and if that’s not risky enough, she has a condition that could attack the new organs.

“‘It’s like when you have the flu,’ Teri said. ‘You are knocked out for a week, and you think you are dying. That’s a good portion of my life.’…”

Transplanted lungs or other organs will be affected by biochemical effects of the defective gene in other parts of the body.

But a transplant can give folks with cystic fibrosis, like Teri, a few more years of life.

I see that as a good idea. (July 21, 2017; March 31, 2017; February 24, 2017)

Life and health are both gifts from God. Taking good care of them is a good idea, within reason. Making either my highest goal would not. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2288, 2289)

Organ transplants are ‘within reason,’ if expected benefits outweigh the risks. We’re told that donating organs after death “…is a noble and meritorious act…” We’re also told that killing someone and breaking them down for parts is a bad idea, and we shouldn’t do it. (Catechism, 2296)

That makes sense to me.

Other ‘health’ posts:


1 More:

About Brian H. Gill

I’m a sixty-something married guy with six kids, four surviving, in a small central Minnesota town. I mostly write and make digital art. I’m only interested in three things: that which exists within the universe; that which exists beyond; and that which might exist.

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5 Responses to Dealing With Cystic Fibrosis

  1. Pingback: Dealing With Cystic Fibrosis

  2. Manny says:

    My prayers for Teri. I hope it all works out. I have been a long time contributor to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

  3. irishbrigid says:

    Still not sure about this comma usage: “move her, her two kids, and husband, to North Carolina.”

    The Friendly Neighborhood Proofreader

Thanks for taking time to comment!