Local resident Tammy Robinson fought to breathe on her own again after living with a lung disease for 10 years and overcoming multiple postoperative complications. Now healthy, the 60-year-old mother of two from Hyde Park will complete a 5K in June as part of the American Lung Association’s virtual LUNG FORCE Run/Walk, to honor her friend and raise awareness and funds for life-saving research.
After her diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in 2005, an aggressive form of lung disease that permanently scars the lungs, Robinson managed to fight for 10 years before getting listed for a transplant. She then waited more than four months, finally getting the call she’d been waiting for.
“It was craziness, your phone is glued to your hip because a call could come anytime,” Robinson said. “At first we screamed out of joy, then we had to hop in the car and drive two hours to the hospital.”
Upon arrival, Robinson’s emotions of fear were quickly replaced with excitement when thinking about getting new lungs and breathing on her own again. Following surgery, Robinson’s fight still wasn’t over.
“I went into rejection, I was in intensive care for 45 days with multiple complications, spending 90 days total in the hospital,” Robinson said. “Getting out of bed was painful but I knew I had to do it to heal, I was determined. My daughters and physical therapist’s encouragement played a big part getting through it.”
After a year-long recovery, Robinson wants to inspire others by showing where she was and where she is now. She’ll be participating in her fourth Lung Association fundraising event, this time honoring her friend Prasha Tuladhar, who recently died from an infection in her lungs in 2018.
“Prasha was a huge advocate for organ donation and lung health. We met in a Facebook group and were in the same situation so we were each other’s support buddies,” Robinson said. “She was a loving mom, wife, and daughter who was an inspiration for so many people.”
The Lung Association’s virtual LUNG FORCE Run/Walk will be held throughout the month of June. Participants are encouraged to run or walk their targeted distance outside while respectfully distancing from others or inside their own homes. Registration is $25. More information can be found on the Cincinnati LUNG FORCE Run/Walk website.
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.