MILWAUKEE -- An organ donation changed her life, and now she's paying it forward. A woman from the Waukesha area, who got a double lung transplant, is giving back.
"My husband and my two boys gave me this gift, it was this picture frame filled with all of the things they wanted to do with me after the transplant," said Janet Byrne.
One of these pictures is a milestone for Janet Byrne.
Byrne was diagnosed with interstitial lung disease in 2001.
"My lungs were building up with scar tissue," said Byrne,
Ten years later, a transplant just in time.
"I feel incredibly blessed," said Byrne.
Byrne says it takes a village to recover, and couldn't have done it without her family, friends and staff at Froedtert.
It's her mission to help other lung disease patients, by creating the foundation "Just Breathe," organizing a 5K and using the proceeds to pay for care bags.
"If this can help in any way to just ease a little bit of the pressure of the costs you're going to now start incurring, it's awesome," said Byrne.
The blood pressure monitor and the pulse oximeter alone can cost you up to $100, so one of these bags goes a long way towards helping a patient going home.
"To know that they have the supplies that they need at home to take care of themselves, it really helps to put us at ease, and the patients at ease as well," said Froedtert and Medical College of Wisconsin coordinator Sara Berkholtz.
Byrne donated 15 care bags to Froedtert and hopes to raise enough money for more.
"I really do feel like God game me this gift, and I wanted to use it well," said Byrne.
The "Just Breathe" 5K Walk/Run is in its fourth year. This year, it will take place on Saturday, August 8th at Frame Park in Waukesha. Anyone will welcome to show up and sign up.