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Joyce Jensen

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Transplant Type - Double-Lung

Joyce received her double-lung transplant on October 10, 2014, but she later experienced complications that required the right lower lobe to be removed.

I am 37 years old facing my own mortality. My lungs are failing.

Who am I? I am a mother, wife, daughter, sister and a friend fighting for her life. I need a double-lung transplant. I am blessed with a loving husband, Greg, and our dear son, Eric, who starts kindergarten this fall. But without a double-lung transplant, I will most likely not live to see Eric finish grade school.

My disease is called autoimmune constrictive bronchiolitis obliterans. The Latin name doesnít matter. What does matter is that my own body is destroying my lungs. My diagnosis has significantly affected my life and the lives of those around me. I long to take a walk without struggling for my breath, or to chase Eric around without having to stop and gasp for air. I want my active lifestyle back.

But I donít have to die. The ability to perform a double-lung transplant is one of Godís medical miracles. It is my only hope. I am familiar with the world of medicine. I was 2 when diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Being immersed in medical care so young, I knew I wanted to help others like me. That is why I now work as a nurse practitioner.

The average double-lung transplant costs nearly $800,000, and I am lucky to have health insurance that will cover the cost of the transplant itself. But thatís only the start of medical expenses I will accumulate. I will need a lifetime of follow-up care and daily anti-rejection medications. These medications are very costly, and as important to my survival as the transplant itself. After any transplant, your body naturally wants to attack the foreign organ. That means I will need lifetime medication to help keep my immune system suppressed.

I have the will and discipline to follow every order the doctors give me. I am praying to have this operation at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, MI where we live. If not, I will temporarily relocate to Madison, WI and stay there for approximately five weeks recovering.

My mission from now on is to spread the word about how vital organ donations are. One personís gift of life can save up to eight lives. Please consider being an organ donor.

The National Foundation for Transplants (NFT) is helping me raise tax-deductible donations so I can afford a transplant. So I can live. Hereís my thankful promise to each of you. For any gift you make, from $25, $50, $100 or more, I am writing your name in a notebook I will carry with me from the first name entered until the day I prayerfully go into surgery.

You can help by making a tax-deductible donation to NFT in honor of Joyce. If you'd prefer to send your gift by mail, please send it to the NFT Michigan Transplant Fund, 5350 Poplar Avenue, Suite 430, Memphis, TN 38119. Please be sure to write "in honor of Joyce Jensen" on the memo line.

Thank you for your generosity!

For more information and updates, visit Joyce's personal blog:

Patient Health Institutes: *[University of Wisconsin Hospital|]* and *[Spectrum Health|]*
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