Second Wind’s Lung Walk is so vitally
important to so many people.

It may not be the biggest, or the most famous event in St. Louis, but it’s likely has the most miracles in one place at one time that you will ever witness! The Lung Walk brings lung transplant recipients, those awaiting transplant, their families, friends, neighbors and community partners together. This annual 5K run/walk is the primary fundraiser for the Second Wind Assistance Fund which provides financial aid to patients and families of pre and post lung transplant patients from Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s Hospitals.

Several hundred Second Wind supporters, a substantial number of whom are walking miracles – lung transplant recipients – come together to walk, run, ride in wagons or strollers, or just hang out under the tents in Forest Park after soliciting sponsors to raise money and awareness for the Assistance Fund.

A little background: Unlike many other organ transplants, lungs require the patient to be in a regimen of physical rehabilitation before the transplant can even take place. To be in the transplant program requires that the patient must be living near the transplant hospital to participate in the mandated rehab program and other testing requirements. Since there are relatively few programs with the high level of transplant competency of these two hospitals, most patients must move to St. Louis from other parts of the country.

That in itself wouldn’t be a burden were it not that, for the vast majority, there is a family, house and living expenses that go on back home while the patient and a caregiver are living here – doubling the costs by having to maintain two households. Rarely are those who aren’t juggling these double expenses in any better financial shape. Those on the transplant waiting list are often on disability assistance and their fixed incomes don’t stretch far.

The funds raised at the Lung Walk are used help defray the financial burdens that might otherwise keep a patient from being able to stay in the transplant program. Help with rent, transportation costs, utilities, medications (oh, the list of medications…) and a myriad of other expenses are what the Second Wind Assistance Fund can provide for our fellow transplant families in need.

Many of the Assistance Fund’s biggest fundraisers are the lung transplant patients themselves. They know the costs, the worry, the toll that working through the transplant experience involves. But they can’t do it alone – we need the help of our friends and the entire community to make more miracles possible!

Please join in the effort to support lung transplant patients by becoming a Lung Walk participant, or email Tom Archer to become a sponsor or volunteer. Of course we welcome donations to the Assistance Fund throughout the year as well. Click here to make a contribution.

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