Wed, 21 March 2012
Rick Lerz is LIVING, BREATHING and SUCCEEDING after a double-lung transplant.
Forty-five-year-old Rick grew up Queens, N.Y., and was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at six months. He now is married to his caring wife, Leigh, and the proud father of their 15-year-old daughter, Marty.
Rick, who has spent more than 20 years in the medical field, became a registered nurse in 1990. One of his hobbies includes breeding Sharpie dogs.
• Growing up, Rick’s life was pretty normal and included exercise and bike riding. But his health started to go downhill when he was 26.
• “I was listed in March of 2010, and I was blessed to have a very supportive family,” Rick says.
• “The first thing I noticed post-transplant was that I could BREATHE… I could take a deep breath without coughing… it was truly amazing,” he says.
• Post-transplant, Rick became the “can do” dad. “I was able to take my daughter to the mall and walk around with her and shop. That is a great feeling,” Rick says.
• Rick’s recommendation to people with CF who are thinking about a transplant: “Fight your depression, stay active, and have a strong support team you can talk to.”
• “I have a new lease on life, and I am a productive, normal guy again. I am very thankful to my donor family,” Rick says.