Gary Tole is 60 years old and has been happily married to Cathy Tole since 1978. They have six beautiful children: Brittany, Michael, Janelle, David, Steven and Kelsey.
Gary was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) in September 2012. Not a stranger to IPF, Gary’s mother died from this disease in 1987 when she was 58 and his aunt was recently diagnosed with IPF as well. Gary had been feeling changes in his health for more than a year leading up to that day he received the devastating news that he did, in fact, have the disease.
There is some good news for Gary and there is light at the end of tunnel. That would be receiving a double lung transplant before time runs out. Other than his lungs, Gary’s health is completely normal and robust as verified by two weeks of intensive medical testing. Given his excellent health, age and state of IPF disease, he is actually listed in the number one position for his blood type and body size at U.T. Southwestern Dallas for a lung transplant should a donor be found, and he is also ranked high on the UNOS regional list as well. So Gary and his family are holding on with plenty of hope.
Gary is a fighter and a believer in Christ, so his friends and family know he will make it through this extreme trial. His Christian faith is evident in his entire family. He is extremely hard working, strong, loyal, kind, generous, caring, loving, and just a pure joy to be around. Anyone who knows him has the most wonderful things to say about him.
Given the struggles and hardship that come with being unable to work due to being afflicted with IPF, Gary needs some financial assistance. Here is a man who has had a job since he was 11 years old and now finds himself physically unable to work. His wife Cathy is a fighter too, and has been doing her best to provide for the family. She works, cares for Gary and the four younger kids. His 22-year old son Steven graciously sacrificed his immediate future and dedicated himself to stay at home full time to take care of his dad. The other children who live at home all work, go to school and do their part to contribute financially. However, with Gary unable to work and even with everyone doing their part, the family is still struggling to make ends meet. Between the thousands of dollars for Gary’s insurance, medicine, house payments, car payments, utilities, food, and house maintenance the family is rapidly falling behind.
This family needs your help now! Anything you can do to assist Gary and his family would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for taking the time to learn more about Gary, his condition and his great need. May God bless you!
***Donations may also be mailed to:
The Tole Family
P.O. Box 261986
Plano, TX 75026
For inquiries please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive, irreversible, unpredictable and ultimately fatal disease characterized by scarring (fibrosis) in the lungs. IPF inevitably leads to worsening lung function and exercise tolerance, and shortness of breath. Every IPF patient follows a different and unpredictable course and it is not possible to predict if a patient will progress slowly or rapidly, or when the rate of decline may change. Periods of transient clinical stability in IPF, should they occur, inevitably give way to continued disease progression. The median survival time from diagnosis is two to five years, with a five-year survival rate of approximately 20-40 percent, which makes IPF more rapidly lethal than many cancers, including breast, ovarian and colorectal. IPF typically occurs in patients over the age of 50, and is more common in men than in women. Yet it is not well known and more cases are being reported around the world each year.
While this is occurring someone with IPF can no longer breathe on there own and they require supplemental oxygen 24-hours a day. The first six months after Gary’s diagnosis were not too bad but soon after became increasingly worse and he has been on supplemental oxygen for over a year now. Gary’s doctor believes that being a singer and member of choirs since high school and at Prestonwood Baptist Church the past 15 years has created extremely efficient breathing muscles. This has allowed him to do far more than most with this level of lung damage. Singing praise and worship music is something Gary truly misses and hopes to be able to do once again in the future.
Since IPF is a day-to-day illness with no retreat and no improvements, it can become life threatening in a very short period of time. That unfortunately happened to Gary in December 2013. He is now in end-stage lung disease and lost the majority of his remaining lung vital capacity. For the most part, Gary is bedridden because when your lungs are this damaged it becomes very difficult to breathe let alone move around. Simple things that at times we all take for granted can leave him completely breathless and gasping for air. The only hope now is that a call comes soon for his lung transplant.