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It’s hard to imagine that almost a year has passed since Doug’s life-saving bilateral lung transplant last November. There is much to be thankful for, not the least of which is the support of our many friends – old and new – who answered the call for help and were there when we most needed it. Truthfully, Doug would not be with us today had not many caring, unselfish folks answered our call.

Doug is making steady progress and life is more normal than it was even a few months ago. His “new” lungs have largely been problem-free, he has managed to avoid infections and is coping with the medicine regime, which is difficult at best: there is nothing pleasant about mega-doses of steroids and immunosuppressants!

The latest positive development in this evolving story has been Doug’s return to music. His surgical team gave the go-ahead and the trusty old Boosey and Hawkes Imperial BBb tuba came out of the closet. Lots of work and practice to get “chops” back in shape after all this time, but he played in the July 4th celebrations with the Chico Community Band and another public concert since. He describes it as “good for the soul”; we are happy to see him playing once again after the past several years when Agent Orange affected lungs made it impossible.

Doug still cannot work, though we are all hopeful that this will change in early 2018. The expenses associated with rehabilitation and exotic medications continue unabated and our financial status remains dire. Bankruptcy is a continuing threat, precluded so far by donations from good people recognizing Doug’s three years of service in the Vietnam War – and the absence of assistance from the United States Government. We hope that will change, but for now we very much need your help. May we respectfully request that you consider now a donation to Doug’s medical fighting fund at www.hopefordoug.com.