NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — This week’s 50 People to Know, focuses on two people who are part of a larger cause – something called the Lung Transplant Project.
Meet 61-year-old Jerry Cahill.
“I have cystic fibrosis. I was diagnosed at age 10, and I grew up with that mantra that ‘you cannot fail’ from my parents,” he says.
Despite his CF, he’s enjoyed a very athletic life, running track in high school, competing in pole vault in college and coaching both in his adult life.
Now, meet Cahill’s partner in the project, Victor Fink.
“Well, Jerry had cystic fibrosis, I had pulmonary fibrosis,” he says.
Two men handling two different diseases. Both men saved by lung transplants.
“It’s a miracle. It’s fantastic they can do this, and I’m thrilled to have somebody else’s left lung breathing in my body,” Fink says.
Lung transplants mean new life for people suffering from CF and other lung diseases.
Cahill had both lungs transplanted in 2012.
“There’s a lot of obstacles in life and bumps along the way, but you’ve just got to keep moving forward,” he says.
Now, both men are involved in the Lung Transplant Project, working with Columbia University Medical Center and other partners to raise money for research and raise awareness about the gift of life that donations bring.
“It’s really about education, and we need to educate a lot more people,” says Cahill.
By the way, Cahill, with his new lungs, is out on a 500 mile bike trip through Canada this week as part of a program called Bike to Breathe that’s part of the Boomer Esiason Foundation.