Support the Lung Walk

Carson Smith
Second Wind St. Louis

If you are reading this then you probably don’t need to be convinced of the merits of organ transplants and the good qualities of Second Wind. But I am writing this as someone who didn’t know anything about the organization until I was contacted last year by Bill Rozen (of Second Wind). Since then I have learned a great deal about this group, as well as others who promote the some of the same goals.

When I was first asked if I would speak at the 2007 Second Wing Lung Walk I was excited about the opportunity to share my story. Several weeks before the walk I met with a few key people to discuss what I would be doing the day of the walk. Before this meeting I made sure to do my research on Second Wind. I found out that this organization was not only offering the community of St Louis an opportunity to get a little exercise while helping the foundation but was really a large player in many patients’ lives.

As a patient on the waiting list for a double lung transplant I was pleased to learn that there is an organization whose mission it is to help people like me. With this feeling of enthusiasm I went to meet with Joshua, with whom I would be co-hosting the walk. We discussed possibilities for the opening talks we would be giving at the beginning of the walk. Josh, having already received a transplant, has a different perspective than I do. I am waiting for a transplant. We decided to use our different perspectives to talk about the same thing from each of our viewpoints,” for him living with a transplant and for me life on the waiting list, but for both, our “quest for normality.

The morning of the walk I was nervous about giving my speech, but since I love speaking in front of groups I was also very excited. Getting up in front of the group I was surprised and delighted to see how many people were waiting for the start of the walk. The enthusiasm of the teams with signs and shirts was contagious. It made me smile and it gave me a incredible feeling to know how many people were supporting Second Wind.

It seemed as though people began coming across the finish line as soon as the walk started and they kept coming for hours! Throughout the afternoon I had a great time mingling with the walkers and volunteers and meeting other Second Wind members. Everyone was supportive and friendly. It was a joy to meet all these people who were so generous in giving their time and support to second wind.

In addition to the pure enjoyment of this walk, and the people I met there, participating in the event has opened up other opportunities for me to share my story to advocate for organ donation and transplantation. The contacts from the Second Wind walk has led to me being able to reach even more members of the St. Louis community with the message of organ transplant education, and this is something for which I am very grateful.

Even for long time Second Wind members and supporters, each 5k walk offers the possibility of new discoveries and new friends. I encourage and challenge every reader to gather a team and come out! I hope you’ll have a great time and support Second Wind at the 5K lung walk this year. Hopefully I will see you there!