Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Pulmonary Fibrosis in the news

I found the following article on the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation's Website. They are doing a great job of pushing news to Facebook - and you all know I'm a little of a Facebook junkie.

Before anyone asks - as I'm not exactly in the Howard Stern demographic - the answer is no, I'm not a big fan of the show. I am, however, from a journalissm background and thus tend to prefer to error on the side of the first amendment. I don't have to like what someone says, but they've got the right to say it, and I have the right to respond.

When it comes to the cure, it's neither here nor there. The fact is whenever someone in a position to have great media access has an experience with pulmonary fibrosis, it increases public awareness, which in turn increases funding which in turn increases research. That helps all of us, and you've got to give thanks where thanks is due.

Now, if only we could get more in the pulmonary fibrosis community to understand what the HPS community has to offer to the search for the cure. We're not rich - but we are a knock out gene. We are one of the only groups researchers can know 100 percent of the time will get pulmonary fiborsis in order to study its early stages. And hey, not to brag, but we're cute!

So, here's the story:

Howard Stern Show News Reporter Transplanted for IPF
Stern Veteran Ralph Howard Receives Single Lung Transplant; Expected to Return to Work Soon

Chicago, IL September 15, 2010 - The Howard Stern radio program recently announced that Ralph Howard, a veteran reporter on the Stern show with XX experience in the news business, recently underwent a successful single lung transplant after suffering with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

The Howard Stern radio program, on Sirius channels 100 and 101, is the flagship program of Sirius Satellite Radio, with more than 6,000,000 subscribers and a loyal following of listeners.

PFF senior advisor Mark Shreve visited with Stern reporter Steve Langford on Friday September 10 and the interview was aired every hour from
10:00 AM Friday through Sunday on the Howard 100 and Howard 101 premium channels. It was also re-broadcast as part of Stern contributor Robin Quivers' morning news when the show returned live Monday morning September 13.

"We're grateful to the show for recognizing that Ralph's experience as an IPF patient was unique, and that they could play an important role in raising awareness of IPF and the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation with their listeners", said PFF President Dan Rose, MD.

A full transcript of the interview is below:

I'm Steve Langford.

The voice, the spirit, the key co conspirator of Howard 100 News is absent for a short time, but, it seems nothing will keep Ralph Howard away for long.

Mark Shreve: "I never would have guessed by listening to him on the radio that he had a serious health problem like pulmonary fibrosis."

Ralph Howard anchor here at Howard 100 News, and force of nature, coming to work every day for months and sounding on the air as magical as ever, despite the devastating disease that was taking Ralph's breath away.

Mark Shreve - "It's a progressive and very serious debilitating disease that is caused by a scarring process in the lungs and ultimately as IPF progresses a patient looses the ability to process oxygen and ultimately can't breathe."

Mark Shreve, Senior Advisor at the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, and a long time Stern fan, says a lung transplant, not an easy option to begin with, is the only way to survive the condition that would ultimately prove terminal.

Mark Shreve - "That simply is the only treatment option known right now to extend survival for these patients."

Miraculously the call about a donor match came just before noon on August 9th, and Ralph Howard raced uptown to New York Presbyterian Hospital where within hours doctors preformed a lung transplant.

Mark Shreve - "There are risks with lung transplantation. A lung transplant is usually the last treatment option before a patient passes away. It's a very serious procedure and hopefully he sees an improvement in his quality of life, and he keeps on reporting for years to come."

Ralph Howard speaking to Howard 100 News staffers over the phone this week sounding as wry and feisty as ever. The News staff counting on the return of Ralph Howard here soon.

Mark Shreve - "Once the body has accepted the donor lung, and there is no rejection issues, patients are known to survive for many many years and lead a much improved life."

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