Louisville teacher battling lung disease participates in ‘Fight For Air Climb’ to raise awareness and funds

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On Friday evening, hundreds of people climbed 2,000 steps at Lynn Family Stadium, including a local teacher with a serious illness. a math teacher at Eastern High School, but standing in front of a class of students wasn’t always an option for Thurman. “I was told I probably wouldn’t live past 8, but that was 14 years ago,” Thurman said. . She was only 23 when she was diagnosed with a rare disease called pulmonary arterial hypertension. It usually affects women between the ages of 30 and 60, and there is no cure. “That’s where the blood pressure in my lungs is too high, making it difficult for my heart to pump blood to my lungs to scavenge oxygen to the rest of my body,” Thurman said, explaining the disease. Wes McConnell is the medical director of Norton Healthcare’s Pulmonary Hypertension Program and Lindsay’s physician. He says most of his patients with the disease die of heart failure. “It’s a very life-threatening disease. “, McConnell said. “On average, I guess before we ran out of drugs, the average lifespan was 2.5 years, and then we increased it to 4.5 years and we’re going further now.” Thanks to research funded in part by the American Lung Association, McConnell says 14 drugs have been developed in recent years to treat PAH, enabling patients like Thurman to live long lives. “J was able to run a full marathon last November, and literally 19 months before, I was lying in a hospital bed convinced that this was the beginning of the end because my condition had progressed so much,” Thurman shared. But, the fight is not over. Lindsay and Dr. McConnell hope to help fund more vital research, not just into PAH, but into other lung diseases. That’s why they participated in ALA’s 2022 fundraising event. “If the folks at the American Lung Association don’t continue their research, you know, my life is basically over,” Thurman said. “So it’s very important for me to support everyone in the pharmaceutical field and in the medical field, because they are literally changing my life.” She was also honored by the ALA as the Lung Health Champion for Ascension.

Hundreds of people climbed 2,000 steps at Lynn Family Stadium on Friday night, including a local teacher with a serious illness.

It was all part of the American Lung Association’s “Fight For Air Climb” to raise awareness about clean air and healthy lungs.

Lindsay Thurman is a math teacher at Eastern High School, but standing in front of a class of students wasn’t always an option for Thurman.

“I was told I probably wouldn’t live past 8, but that was 14 years ago,” Thurman said.

She was only 23 when she was diagnosed with a rare disease called pulmonary arterial hypertension.

It usually affects women between the ages of 30 and 60 and there is no cure.

“This is where the blood pressure in my lungs is too high, making it difficult for my heart to pump blood to my lungs to scavenge oxygen to the rest of my body,” Thurman said, explaining the condition. .

Dr. Wes McConnell is the Medical Director of Norton Healthcare’s Pulmonary Hypertension Program and Lindsay’s physician.

He says most of his patients with the disease die of heart failure.

“It’s a very deadly disease,” McConnell said. “On average, I guess before we had more drugs, the average lifespan was 2.5 years, then we increased it to 4.5 years and we’re going further now.”

Thanks to research funded in part by the American Lung Association, McConnell says 14 drugs have been developed in recent years to treat PAH, enabling patients like Thurman to live long lives.

“I was able to run a full marathon last November, and literally 19 months prior I was lying in a hospital bed convinced that this was the beginning of the end because my condition had progressed so much,” Thurman explained. .

But, the fight is not over.

Both Lindsay and Dr. McConnell hope to help fund more vital research, not only into PAH, but into other lung diseases as well.

That’s why they participated in ALA’s 2022 fundraising event.

“If the folks at the American Lung Association don’t continue their research, you know, my life is basically over,” Thurman said. “So it’s very important for me to support everyone in the pharmaceutical field and in the medical field, because they are literally changing my life.”

She was also honored by the ALA as the Lung Health Champion for Ascension.

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