Every day Meghann Palmer takes more than 40 pills to treat her lungs and clean her stomach. She exercises every day and eats every two hours to maintain her weight.
To breathe normally, the social work graduate from St. Thomas repeats the treatments throughout the day.
Cystic fibrosis is a complex disease that affects the respiratory and digestive systems. It’s fatal and has no cure.
Palmer has an average of seven to eight hospitalizations a year, but the doctors who have been treating her told her there’s not much they could do with her CF at this point. It’s time for her to get a double lung transplant to live longer.
“No one knows when they are getting the surgery,” she said. “Someone has to die for you to live and that can’t be predicted.”
A couple of friends suggested the idea of creating a website to raise money while she lives in Toronto and waits for the surgery through Gofundme.com.
All the money will go first to a bank account until she goes to Toronto and has her assessment period.
The first time she opened the website she raised $1,000.
“Things in social media go so quickly,” she said. “It’s going pretty well. I thought it would be a great tool to use to raise money.”
Palmer was diagnosed with CF when she was born and has always struggled with the disease.
Between taking care of herself and raising money, dealing with time has been one of the biggest challenges she’s ever had.
“I started working at Tim Horton’s part time to see how I could deal with it,” she said. “But I haven’t be able to pursue for sure the way I have wanted to.”
Once she graduated from STU, she had to take a year off because she had pneumonia. She always hoped she could recover.
One of her main goals is to be able to work as a social worker.
“I’m still hoping there’s a chance I could work,” said Palmer, who turned 30 in January. “I want to experience so many things.”
Doctors only perform lung transplants in Toronto. She’d have to live there while she waits for an organ donation and finishes her treatment.
“I will have to move and wait when my lung function is low enough for new lungs.”
She says her motivation to keep living and to work is her family and her fiancé, Jonathan Walker.
Walker has supported her in all her choices and with her lung treatment.
“He is helping me by being very supportive of my choices and helping me with my lung treatments.”
She hopes she will be able to marry him soon.
Once her treatment in Toronto ends, she wants to run a half marathon and obtain a master’s degree.
“I’m going to keep fighting and I’m not going to stop.”
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