The official blog of the Lung Institute.
Like many Americans, my parents are dedicated working people. For years they have been able to provide our family with a loving environment and a passionate drive to do our very best. As a child, I could always remember when tax season rolled around. On an early Saturday morning, my father John, a hardworking police officer for 40 years, would gather his “box of taxes,” a handy-dandy calculator and make room at the kitchen table. Listening to his favorite records from “Fleetwood Mac,” he would then spend this next several hours going through all of the families tax information. This was how my dad tackled every tax season, all for the coveted tax refund.
If you are like my father, there is no doubt that you look forward to the prospects of a tax refund. Many will invest for their financial future, save a little money for their child’s college fund or prepare for an exciting summer vacation. While these are all great incentives to follow, there are times where a tax refund can be used to improve the health of a loved one. As it did for my dad.
While serving the community for several decades, my father was exposed to a number of pollutants. Having never smoked in his life, we were all surprised to learn that he was having difficulty breathing. After taking him to the doctor, we discovered that he was living with a severe case of pulmonary fibrosis. For a few years now, I have watched my dad struggle with a condition that very literally, takes your breath away. Enough was enough.
Researching the internet, I discovered a place that could help to promote the healing of tissue in my father’s lungs. For the man that gave me everything in my life, I knew this was my only chance to help him. Traveling to Tampa, Florida with my dad, we met with a Lung Institute physician who discussed stem cell therapy for pulmonary fibrosis. Using his own adult stem cells, his lungs could promote healing with new, healthy tissue. We decided to move ahead with the treatment.
Shortly after filing for taxes in the new year, I too looked forward to the use of a helpful refund. With my father about to start stem cell therapy, I weighed my options and knew what had to be done. My wife and I made the choice to use our refund to help cover the cost of the stem cell treatment. I know many will look at this as an odd choice, but to me it was one of love and hope. Having my father with our family was important to us, even if it lasted only a few more years. After all, what is the price of keeping our family healthy?
A year later, I’m happy to share with you that the stem cell treatment has been working for my dad. He needs less oxygen and can actually take part in the activities that he enjoys. In fact, we are looking at getting a booster treatment in the next few months to build on his progress. To me, using my tax refund money for my family was a no-brainer. I’ve been able to spend more time with my dad and continue to watch him get better. Using your refund to help a loved one is a wonderful gift to offer.