Lauren fights with her every breath
BY SORAIYA GHARAHKHANI
20 Jan, 2010 10:32 AM
THIS is a story of one teenage girl's fight for life.
Lauren Rowe is on a transplant waiting list for lungs because a genetic condition called cystic fibrosis has claimed hers.
The Raby woman has been given 12 months to live if doctors do not find a match. Miss Rowe thinks they will.
``I'm only 19 years old and I don't have very long to live,'' she said. ``But I want to keep fighting. ``If I get lungs, I will make the most out of every day.''
During a phone interview with the Advertiser Miss Rowe had another lung bleed.
Her mother Shayne Rowe said her lungs were functioning at less than 19percent.
``We found out at birth that she had the condition but we didn't know anything about it,'' she said.
``It's all about matching the lung to a person's blood type and lung size luckily, Lauren is O positive, which is the most common type and she has average size lungs. ``We could get a call at any time because she's on the top of the waiting list.''
Now, Miss Rowe's mission is twofold.
She is urging people to become organ donors and she wants to raise awareness of CF as it is known which is the most common life-threatening condition.
Although the NSW Organ and Tissue Donation Service noted an increase in organ donors in 2009, it said Campbelltown has only about two donors. There has been an increase from 57 donors (in NSW) in 2008 to 69 in 2009, which is the highest recorded since 1994. Miss Rowe said it was important for people to consider becoming a donor and to discuss their options with loved ones even though it was a ``touchy subject''.
``I'm very hopeful and a very positive person and I know someone out there will make the decision and say, yes sort of like a `Pay it Forward','' she said. ``This is something I didn't choose.''
CF attacks a number of organs in the body especially the lungs and pancreas by clogging them with thick, sticky mucus.
Miss Rowe's boyfriend, Daniel Melissari, from Eschol Park, will do all he can to raise awareness and money to help find a cure when he participates in a Swim for Cystic Fibrosis at Wollondilly Community Leisure Centre on February 6.
In Australia, there are 1770 patients waiting for organ transplants from January 4 this year.
To become a donor, visit donatelife.gov.au for more information.
To participate in the swim contact Soraiya at the Advertiser, 46405151.