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Julie Rice (Submitted photo)

A Wallaceburg woman, who has battled cystic fibrosis her entire life, is set to be listed for a double lung transplant.

Julie Rice told the Sydenham Current she is anticipating being listed by May of this year. From that moment, the average wait time for a transplant is anywhere from six to nine months. However, she could get called in a month or it could take over a year.

“I am O type blood, which means I have the most common blood type, that also means more people are waiting for that blood type… but it also has a quicker turn over time,” she said.

“So I’m hopeful that it could come sometime this year.”

Rice said she feels physically and emotionally ready for transplant.

“My current health really has had an impact on my quality of life… missing out on family and friends moments because I am either too tired to attend or am gone for different appointments,” she said.

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“Simple things like regular household chores are a huge task for me now, even just running to the store for one small thing requires lugging my oxygen and currently and more frequently, a pump for IV antibiotics as well. So I’m ready to try for a better quality of life and get back to hopefully better than I’ve ever been in my adult life and get back to being a fun aunt, and friend.

Rice added: “Also I think my partner of 12 years, Tony, for all his help and hard work he does with me, deserves to have his outgoing girlfriend back to hike with our dogs again.”

After her transplant, Rice said she will be required to stay in Toronto for multiple months. Once her Toronto stay is complete, she also may need to re-locate to London, Ontario temporarily to be closer to her physio therapy appointments as well.

Needless to say, the expenses are going to add up.

To help offset the costs, Rice’s friends have stepped up to organize some fundraisers along with an online GoFundMe campaign. The page also includes more details about Rice’s health struggles and the impact it has had on her.

After just being launched on Wednesday, a total of $1,155 of the $15,000 goal has been raised.

“I feel so thankful for the group of girls I have in my life, who have been lifelong friends, that have taken on the task to fundraise for us to help make this process as stress free as possible,” Rice said.

“And we’ve always had an amazing community for help by people, so I feel blessed to live where I do, in Wallaceburg.”

A fundraiser is also set for April 30 at K9 Klips in Wallaceburg. It will be a dog wash and nail clinic from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will also be a barbecue and LIVE music from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.


– Submitted photo

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