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Lung transplant patient helps others facing same fate

By ALYCIA AMBROZIAK, The Gazette, September 15, 2011

 A double-lung transplant may have knocked Ian Alexander down for a while, but the Lachine resident has found yet another goal in life: to raise funds to help others diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, the disease that almost felled him.

And that's why Alexander will be on the greens at the Ste. Rose Golf Club in Laval on Sept. 22 as golf committee chairman of the fourth annual E-Challenge golf tournament.

"The E-Challenge objective is to raise funds for patients stricken by IPF, a lung disorder characterized by progressive scarring, robbing victims of their ability to breathe - patients who desperately need financial support in order to get a lung transplant," said Alexander. "I know what it's like."

The Alexander Family Foundation (TAFF) was created in 2008 as a not-forprofit organization with a mission to support patients with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF).

The disease, has no known cure.

Alexander was told he was No. 27 on the transplant list at Notre Dame Hospital where only about 20 such transplants are done a year.

The problem was that he had also been told he had six months to live without the transplants.

"The math was simple - he would die waiting for a transplant," according to the TAFF website. "It was Ian who worked tirelessly, cutting through administrative and bureaucratic hurdles at the hospital and government levels, finding a way to save his life and providing a clear path which we could use to help others.

Alexander got his lung transplants in 2009 at the Toronto General Hospital.

And that's what inspired him to help others afflicted with IPF.

TAFF's support is currently limited to working with patients affiliated with Montreal's Notre Dame Hospital, specifically patients admitted to the hospital's lung transplant program.

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