Lungs for Jake was the first fundraising effort for Cystic Fibrosis Northwest, then called Return to Life. Below, you can learn more about Jake Drewry and the double lung transplant that has saved his life.
The Drewry family has long been a cornerstone of our community. Maybe you were a student in the Tumwater School District with Jake or his wife Mary. Maybe Jake’s mother, Anna Lee, helped you out in her capacity as a volunteer firefighter or as an EMS educator in Thurston, Pierce, and King counties. Maybe you’ve just seen the sign for Drewry Lane off of Rich Road.
What you probably don’t know is that Jake, 25, and his brother Darrick are two of the roughly 30,000 Americans who suffer from cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disease that affects the lungs and digestive tract. Thick mucus builds up in the respiratory system and pancreas, damaging the lungs and often leading to life-threatening infections.
Last year, Jake was told by doctors that to live, he needed a double lung transplant within 18 months. Jake had reached a pivotal point in his fight. He had been in the ICU at the University of Washington Medical Center, his respiration dependent on machines.
His doctors determined that Jake was a good candidate for the transplant, and on June 13th, 2011, Jake received a compatible pair of lungs and recovered well. The bad news is that the transplant will cost over one million dollars, only about $350,000 of which will be covered by insurance.
In order to save money for the operation, Jake and his wife Mary moved in with Jake’s parents, Anna Lee and Darrell. Jake, who has a degree in electronics, has resumed his work at Seattle’s Heatcon Composite Systems, building carbon fiber repair equipment. Doctors continue to be impressed by his recovery, and his lung function is approaching the levels of someone who has never had cystic fibrosis.
In the face of overwhelming challenges, this family has come together, strengthened by commitment and love. It’s time for our community to do the same. Please join us in supporting Jake and other South Sound cystic fibrosis patients in any way you can. Keep up with the latest news on our homepage.