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Sunday, March 20, 2016

Local woman hopeful for double lung transplant

Spruce Grove Examiner 
Chantel Esak-Stumpf requires a double lung transplant due to her interstitial lung disease. A fundraiser is being held at the Canadian Brewhouse to assist her family in the cost of care after she receives the transplant, which they hope will happen in the coming months.

Breathing is something most people don’t even think about as they go about their day-to-day lives, but for Chantel Esak-Stumpf her daily activities require extensive planning around the simple task.

The 31-year-old Spruce Grove resident has interstitial lung disease, which means her lungs are functioning at 20 per cent of their normal capacity. She is now waiting for a crucial double lung transplant to save her.

Esak-Stumpf has dealt with several health issues throughout her life. After her daughter Emilia, now 11, was born, the mother became sick and was diagnosed with Castleman disease, a rare autoimmune disorder. It was also found she had Lupus, and she was put on dialysis. Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks normal, healthy tissue.

When she began having difficulty breathing two years ago, Esak-Stumpf sought to determine what was wrong. Last April, she was diagnosed with interstitial lung disease, and in less than a year her lung function deteriorated and she was required to be on oxygen 24-hours a day as well as several medications. The disease is untreatable.

“My immune system is treating my lungs like they’re foreign,” she explained of the condition, which may or may not have stemmed from her Lupus. “It’s turning all the (lung) tissue into scar tissue.” Continue reading

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