Although he suffers from pulmonary fibrosis, Evans Wilson decided to participate in the Seattle Marathon to raise awareness about the disease. The man managed to finish the Seattle Marathon in about ten hours and 55 minutes, as he carried an oxygen tank.
Wilson is happy that he finished the marathon three hours earlier than his initial goal time of fourteen hours. After recovering, he said he wasn’t in pain, even if he had to give his best to finish the run.
The 63-year-old man is a former runner, but he hasn’t participated in a race after receiving a diagnosis of pulmonary fibrosis at the age of 57. This disease consists of scarring of the lungs which is usually caused by autoimmune conditions and particle exposure.
Wilson confessed that he spent two years going from doctors to doctors trying to receive a diagnosis. He noticed that something was wrong when he walked up a hill one day and felt that he couldn’t breathe.
The symptoms continued to occur until doctors finally discovered that Wilson suffered from pulmonary hypertension. This condition is a high blood pressure situated in the lungs, indicating that the heart might be damaged.
Further analysis led the doctors to discover scarring in Wilson’s lungs. Although most patients with this condition usually live around three years, there are already five years since Wilson received his diagnosis.
According to him, pulmonary fibrosis is a progressive terminal disease which cannot be treated or cured. He believes that he is a very fortunate man because he is still doing well after five years.
Based on the estimates from a study conducted in 2006, 42 out of 100,000 Americans might be suffering from pulmonary fibrosis. The public health experts believe that roughly 40,000 people die each year due to this disease.
Wilson underlines that although this condition affects so many Americans, there is no treatment available besides lung transplant. That is why he decided to participate in the marathon because that way, he could raise awareness and funds to support the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation.
The 63-year-old man says that he is not up for another challenge yet, but he hopes that his effort will convince people to donate at least $50,000, which will be used by researchers to develop a treatment to deal with pulmonary fibrosis.
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