Lung Transplant Patients to Hustle up the Hancock 2016 | Loyola Medicine
Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Nine Loyola Medicine Lung Transplant Patients to Hustle up the Hancock

This year, cystic fibrosis patient Chris Pry will be doing his second Hustle up the Hancock.

MAYWOOD, Ill. – Before his double lung transplant, just getting dressed in the morning was like running a 200-yard dash for cystic fibrosis patient Sean Sullivan. Now, Mr. Sullivan is planning to climb 94 stories in the Feb. 28 Hustle up the Hancock fundraiser.

“Getting to the top would be a great way to honor my donor and their selfless gift,” said Mr. Sullivan, 41, who lives in Olympia Fields and works in his family’s business.

Mr. Sullivan is among 20 members of Loyola’s Hustle up the Hancock team, called Loyola’s Lung Angels. The team includes patients, family members, doctors, nurses and dietitians. Some plan to do the half climb (54 stories) while others plan to make it all the way to the top of the John Hancock Center, a total of 1,632 steps.

It is difficult for a person with normal lung function to comprehend how debilitating advanced lung disease is, said Daniel Dilling, MD, Loyola’s medical director of Lung Transplantation. Patients typically are on supplemental oxygen 24 hours a day, and even simple tasks such as  brushing their teeth leave them exhausted. “Climbing up the Hancock Center illustrates how a determined patient, with a strong support team, can make a complete turnaround,” Dr. Dilling said.

Cystic fibrosis patient Chris Pry, 35, will be doing his second Hustle up the Hancock. He did his first climb in 2015, five months after his double lung transplant. It took him 1 hour, 14 minutes.

“It was tough going up, but there’s nothing like the feeling of being on the top,” said Mr. Pry, a physical therapy aide who lives in Crystal Lake.

This year, Mr. Pry is working hard to get his time down to under one hour. His training regimen includes doing squats, working out on a stair stepper and walking around all day with a three-pound weight on each ankle.

“The patients who are doing this climb embody what it means to take charge of their health and well-being,” said Jennifer Johnson, RN, Loyola’s lung procurement coordinator. “It’s been a joy to see their transformation from feeling so desperately ill to charging up the stairs for a good cause.”

Hustle up the Hancock is the Respiratory Health Association’s major fundraising event. It’s expected to raise more than $1.1 million to promote healthy lungs and fight lung disease.

Loyola has performed more than 800 lung transplants, by far the most of any center in Illinois. Last year, Loyola performed more lung transplants than the three other Illinois lung transplant programs combined. In May, 2014, Loyola became the only center in Illinois to perform five lung transplants in just over 24 hours.

About Loyola Medicine and Trinity Health

Loyola Medicine, a member of Trinity Health, is a quaternary care system based in the western suburbs of Chicago that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, MacNeal Hospital and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services from 1,877 physicians throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital in Maywood that includes the William G. and Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, Illinois's largest burn center, a certified comprehensive stroke center and a children’s hospital. Having delivered compassionate care for over 50 years, Loyola also trains the next generation of caregivers through its teaching affiliation with Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Gottlieb is a 247-licensed-bed community hospital in Melrose Park with 150 physician offices, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park. MacNeal Hospital is a 374-bed teaching hospital in Berwyn with advanced inpatient and outpatient medical, surgical and psychiatric services, advanced diagnostics and treatments. MacNeal has a 12-bed acute rehabilitation unit, a 25-bed inpatient skilled nursing facility, and a 68-bed behavioral health program and community clinics. MacNeal has provided quality, patient-centered care to the near west suburbs since 1919.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic healthcare systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 94 hospitals, as well as 109 continuing care locations that include PACE programs, senior living facilities and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $18.3 billion and assets of $26.2 billion, the organization returns $1.1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity employs about 133,000 colleagues, including 7,800 employed physicians and clinicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity is known for its focus on the country's aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services—ranked by number of visits—in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs.