After lung transplant, Denver woman cherishes every breath

Lincoln Times-News | Phil Perry
Mary Scercy, a retired educator who taught as a substitute teacher at East Lincoln Middle and East Lincoln High, will compete in the Transplant Games in Cleveland, Ohio, where she will run the 5K. Scercy received a double lung transplant in 2010.

Mary Scercy will be competing in the Donate Life “Transplant Games” in Cleveland, Ohio in June. The recipient of a double-lung transplant in 2010, she has begun the process of training for the event and is laser focused on being the best that she can be.

“I’m doing this for him,” she said. “This is my way of saying ‘thank you’ for what he gave to me.”

The man that Mary is referring to was the 43-year-old organ donor whose lungs allowed her to live and fight through the final stages of emphysema and COPD. He was a husband, the father of two and a fitness enthusiast.

Mary, a Denver resident, was a smoker for 26 years but had quit the habit more than a decade before her transplant. It wasn’t enough to prevent what was in her. There was irreversible damage done to her lungs.

“It was due to the stupidity of smoking for 26 years,” she said. “I quit in 1998 and thought I had everything beat, but I didn’t.”

The mother of three adult children had a lung volume reduction procedure in June of 2009 that improved her quality of life, but it had become apparent that she needed a transplant. The procedure allowed for the removal of about 25 percent of each lung, allowing her breathing to improve for several months. Continue reading

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