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Get a Glimpse | Mike Olsen, 55

Battling idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a terminal lung disease

LOUISVILLE

I live in Schnitzelburg with my wife Patti and our Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. I’m a former decorator consultant, have worked at JCPenney’s and Spindletop Draperies, and am pastor of Iona Community Church.

In January 2015, I was diagnosed with a terminal lung disease called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). It’s a rare scarring of the lungs, which eventually destroys the lungs and is killing as many people as breast cancer now. Most patients only live two to five years after being diagnosed. There is no cure. The only option is a double lung transplant. I am currently on a double lung transplant list at Jewish Hospital.

I never smoked, so the diagnosis was surprising, but that hasn’t stopped my spirit. I have become an advocate for bringing awareness to this horrible lung disease and am appreciative to have met with Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, Congressman John Yarmuth, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, Sen. Mitch McConnell and now-U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, and Sen. Rand Paul to bring awareness and educate the public about this disease. I’m on a mission to share my struggle with this horrible disease as well as to convince people to become an organ donor by signing their driver’s license or going online to register.

You can follow more of my story by finding “The Mike Olsen Project” on www.vimeo.com. I have a medical account set up at Commonwealth Bank and on www.YouCaring.com, both of which will help cover the pre- and post-transplant medical costs.

You can also help by praying that I get a second chance at life, which would be a miracle.

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