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Hundreds of Arizonans to Gather for Latest on Number One Cancer Killer in US, Inspiring Speaker and More at LUNG FORCE Expo

(March 16, 2017) -

For more information please contact:

Heather Mangan
Heather.Mangan@Lung.org
312-801-7631

In one lifetime Len Geiger has been given two sets of lungs.

Geiger, of Jacksonville, Florida, started experiencing shortness of breath in his 30s and assumed aging and lack of physical activity were to blame for his troubled breathing. His conditions didn’t improve, even with the use of an inhaler, and he was diagnosed with Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency, a rare genetic disorder that when in the lungs causes emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and chronic bronchitis. His lung function plummeted to 15 percent.

At 43 he had a full lung transplant, receiving organs from a 14-year-old girl in which he later named his daughter after. That was 15 years ago and Geiger’s lungs are in excellent shape, despite other complications that have limited his physical activity. Since the transplant he’s run a half marathon and marathon with his lung donor’s father. Geiger is now healthy and an Alpha-1 advocate.

“My diagnosis of Alpha-1 23 years ago was tough,” he said. “It changed my life in ways I never expected. My transplant gave me the opportunity for a new life and a new family. It’s now important to me to raise awareness of Alpha-1 and the miracle of organ donation and transplant.”

On Saturday, March 25, Geiger will be sharing his story with lung health patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals at the 2017 LUNG FORCE Expo at the Sheraton Mesa at Wrigleyville West in Mesa, hosted by the American Lung Association in Arizona.

“I want other lung disease patents to take home inspiration and hope, to know it’s never too late,” Geiger said.

Hundreds of lung disease patients and healthcare professionals from across Arizona will gather for presentations on the latest trends in lung disease research, treatment and care. Topics for professionals will include the physician-patient relationship, CT screening for lung cancer, imaging to identify cell dysplasia and other topics. Patients will learn about caring for the caregiver and chronic disease self-management. Both groups will come together for a session on the state and future of lung disease in Arizona and Geiger’s a plenary session.

Media representatives receive complimentary admission and can RSVP by sending their contact information to Julie Reid at JReid@lungs.org.  Registration is $75 for healthcare professionals and $10 for patients and caregivers. Registration is open online at LUNGFORCE.org or by calling 602-258-7507.  

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About the American Lung Association in Arizona 

The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and  tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit the newly redesigned website: Lung.org.

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