Andy J
Posted by

Up for the challenge

Andy J
Posted by
21 Jan 2014

In September last year I was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis after a chest CT scan revealed scarring and inflammation of the bronchioli.

The damage was extensive with my right lung significantly reduced in size and my lung capacity decreased by more than a third. This was an alarming slide from my levels of three years ago when I had a check up immediately before embarking on my run all the way from John O'Groats to Land's End.

Despite several tests including a bronchoscopy doctors have been unable to identify the cause of the fibrosis and, whilst I've seen a small improvement since starting treatment, it seems unlikely that I will ever make a full recovery. For someone who's used to being really fit since my leukaemia that's hard to take and it's demoralising that I can currently only run for half an hour at the absolute maximum.

I've also found it difficult not knowing exactly what's wrong with me and it is concerning that the treatment as a result is largely trial and error.

However, I have never been one to shirk a challenge and am determined that I will not let this beat me. If anything the uncertainty has made me more determined than ever to make the most out of life starting with getting stuck into these 30 before 30 challenges.

I know that in all likelihood whatever I have that is causing damage to my lungs is in some way related to the treatment I had for my leukaemia. I'm not really angry about that as it was a risk I had to take in order to get better and I'm incredibly lucky to still be here.

As survival rates for blood cancer patients continue to rise thanks to the incredible improvements that have been made in the last 30 years, one of the biggest challenges in the future is going to be improving treatments to reduce the effect they have on patients.

I'm determined to play in achieving this by supporting Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research in whatever way I can.

You can help make a difference, too, by making a donation to my 30before30 challenge.




Andy, you are a true inspiration to all of us. I'll be supporting you fella!

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