View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Pulmonary Fibrosis

I received an email from former J-lander Jan [jan3145] who is battling with the debilitating condition of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (UK site). She sends regards to all she used to know in J-land, as was. Atlantic Lines does not normally carry promotions, but I would like to make an exception for this charity.

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis is a rare and terminal lung disease. Its' cause is unknown and there is no successful treatment or cure for it.  Once diagnosed a patient may have two to five years life expectancy.  Lung transplant may extend their lives for a few years, but not everyone qualifies, or can be a candidate, for this delicate surgery. Pulmonary Fibrosis takes the lives of more patients every year than Breast Cancer, yet no one hears about it. Every eleven minutes someone is diagnosed and every 13 minutes someone dies due to Pulmonary Fibrosis.  Symptoms may be shortness of breath on exertion, a dry cough, fatigue or exercise intolerance due to trouble breathing. 

Pulmonary Fibrosis Association of Texas, Inc., an approved 501c3 Nonprofit, strives to meet the needs of PF patients who do not have the funds or benefits to obtain medically prescribed and necessary oxygen or other medical supplies.  It is never OK for someone to be denied air to breathe because they cannot pay for it, yet someone right now is being deprived of oxygen for that very reason.  Help us to help them.

We cannot add days to their lives, but we can add life to their days with your help.

Help us to help others breathe a little easier.

Thursday 24 September

Good morning from an overcast Stornoway. Once more, the wind blows from the west at force 5 and the odd showers is possible. The 12C / 54F on the thermometer is a bit on the low side, but what do you expect.

I'm left bemused at the snub that wasn't a snub, when British PM Gordon Brown was denied a formal head-to-head with B'rack Obama at the UN last night. They could only talk in the kitchen at the UN, a formal meeting was not possible. 10 Downing Street was allegedly frenzied at this snub-that-wasn't-a-snub (which it was, don't fool yourself). I think Obama saw right through the charade around the release of the Lockerbie bomber - Mr Brown didn't speak up on the issue for quite a few days.

So there is this vaccine that gives you a 30% chance of not contracting HIV/AIDS. I wouldn't chance it. It's excellent news that progress is being made, but there is a long way to go. Since writing an essay on the subject of HIV/AIDS in 1985, treating actually infected patients has made a lot of headway, and life expectancies have extended. But developing a vaccine has remained static for a long while.