Help Michael Breathe & Fight Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis

For: Michael Thompson
Organizer: Michael's Wife
of $75,000 goal
4% Complete
Raised by 25 donors

The Story

Meeting my terminally ill husband online was a beautiful miracle! Now, we're praying for another miracle!

It was in 2009, just seven short years ago, that my dear husband, Michael Thompson, was diagnosed with Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis. "I'm sorry to say," said the doctor nervously, "that there is no known cure. PAP is a terminal lung disease. You're probably only going to live for five more years. You'll be lucky to make it to age forty."

It must have felt like a kick in the stomach. Unfortunately, I didn't know him then. I wish I had so we could have gone through it together.

How We Met

Michael and I met through an online dating site in March of 2012. He was very honest and told me in his very first email that we was terminally ill with Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis. But I wanted to be Mrs. Thompson, even if it was only for one day! So we met in person on April 7th and were married fourteen days later on April 21st, 2012. We married in haste...and it was the best decision we ever made!

What in the World is PAP?

Well, it's an extremely rare lung disease. So rare, that less than 500 people diagnosed in the United States suffer from it. So rare, that it took the doctors two years to diagnose it.

Basically, it's an auto-immune disease that causes the body to produce extreme amounts of the natural protective protein coating in the lungs. Basically, your fate is to drown to death in your own protein. Michael lives every day with this fate hanging over his head. Any day may be his last.

While suffering from PAP, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, spinal stenosis and heart disease, he is still the most cheerful, positive, creative and loving person that I know. And I'm so lucky to have him!

Why YouCaring?

Funds are extremely tight. I'm doing my damnedest to scrimp, save and scratch to make a few bucks from eBay, customized pyrography artwork and freelance writing. But there's no money for anything extra. And Michael has so many extra needs. A travel oxygen concentrator. Dentures to replace the mouthful of beautiful teeth Michael lost due to medication side-effects. A tub so he can soak in hot, hot water when fibro & rheumatoid make his life a misery and the funds to finish installing the On-Demand hot water system we own but couldn't install yet. (We only have a shower with very limited hot water now and he sure misses being able to take a hot bath. Sometimes it's the only thing that eases the pain.)

And eventually, a lung lavage or two (washing out the lungs with warm saline to remove protein build-up.) This procedure costs over $100,000 and is NOT covered by our insurance. And usually more than one lavage is needed.

Please be an angel in our lives and help to ease the burden of these ongoing expenses. 

We thank you very much. God bless you for your help!

If you prefer to mail your donation, please make the check payable to "Help Michael Breathe" and mail to...
Help Michael Breathe
c/o Lenora Thompson
P.O. Box 3
Gully, MN 56646

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Fundraiser Updates

Posted on February 13, 2018

Posted on February 13, 2018

Greetings from blustery Northern Minnesota!

Every time I write one of these updates, I'm tempted to steal a quote from J. R. R. Tolkien, "Well, what can I tell you? Life in the wide world goes on, much as it has this past age, full of its own comings and goings, scarcely aware of the existence of hobbits." But make that Thompsons, instead of hobbits although both of us have agreed we'd be very happy to live in Hobbiton behind a round, green front door.

Anyways.... ;)

If you remember, Michael fought and won against pneumonia last Winter and those were "the worst of times." This Winter he's had an ear infection but nothing worse than that, knock on Formica. Only a couple more months of Winter left, so fingers crossed and prayers said. A couple of days ago, I was just falling asleep when I heard him sneeze five times - and I got out of bed and ran for the Vitamin C. It seems to have worked; no more sneezes or sniffles. Just a lot of lung gurgles, but Michael knows how to deal with that. Every morning begins with coughing and retching to get the excessive pulmonary protein up and out. It works but he's coughed so much and so hard for so many years, he tore a hole (hernia) in his diaphragm. But even that is manageable!

Apart from that, there isn't a great deal to add to this update and no news is definitely good news for Michael. His doctor is wonderful. He always looks Michael in the eye and says, "You're doing great! Just keep doing what you're doing!" You'd be surprised just how much a positive attitude and keeping the mind busy and happy improves physical health.

We still have plans to install a deep bathtub so Michael can soak his chronically painful back in hot water and Epson salts but in the meantime, the heating pad works. And we're also hoping to save up enough to fix our car, which has some serious problems so we rarely get to town. But the truth is, we're very blessed and feel very grateful just to be together and are looking forward to our Sixth wedding anniversary in April! :D

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Posted on July 27, 2017

Posted on July 27, 2017


I can't believe it's been ten months since I last posted an update for my husband, Michael Thompson.

First, a huge "Thank You" to everyone who recently donated. You-know-who-you-are! Your kind generosity means so much to us.

In the words of J. R. R. Tolkien, "Life in the wide world goes on, scarcely aware of the existence of the Thompson's." But we're still cracking along! Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis is Michael's constant companion and always will be. His everyday difficult in breathing was compounded by a bout of pneumonia last Autumn and a sinus infection this Spring. Thanks to antibiotics those problems have cleared up (well, as far as we know!) We also discovered that he has a hiatal hernia (stomach bulging through the diaphragm), probably from violently coughing the excess protein out of his lungs multiple times each day. It's painful, like his chronic back pain, but what-can-you-do!?!

I must share with you an amazing drama that happened just last Friday. Michael was really down...which is something that rarely happens. He's the most upbeat guy I've ever met! But on Friday, he got kinda' discouraged, so I was praying for him while I took the wet laundry out of the washing machine. Stepping outside to hang it on the clothesline, I saw the Lincare (oxygen therapy) truck driving slowly away. (What the...they didn't even knock on our door!)

Taking off at full speed, I ran at full tilt across two lots, yelling and waving and by George! I chased down that darn truck! (The neighbors thought it was hysterically funny!) The upshot is that the Lincare technician discovered Michael's oxygen concentrator was NOT producing oxygen anymore. (Something about the seals inside cracking.) They replaced the machine and now Michael has a newer, quieter oxygen concentrator that actually produces pure oxygen. Fancy that!

Don't tell me God doesn't answer prayer!!! If I'd been just 10 seconds later going out with that laundry...or decided to put it in the dryer...

We're both looking forward to the cooler, dryer days of Autumn. The humidity makes Michael feel like he's trying to breathe in a sauna 24/7. That's why I'm trying to earn, save, sell, beg, borrow (no! not borrow nor steal) about $3,600 for a battery-powered, portable Oxygen Concentrator for emergency use and so Michael can get out of the house now-and-then. (No, insurance will NOT cover it.) The nearest big town is an hour away which would require multiple tanks of oxygen. I'm also scouting around Freecycle and Facebook groups to see if I can find a free, used dehumidifier locally.

Yes, I'm still writing for PsychCentral which helps bring in some funds. (In fact, I just had my biggest day ever...11,300 hits!) I still create pyrography art, sell stuff on eBay and just decided to sell my 4/4 Becker violin (but I'll keep my 3/4 size one.) And a month ago I launched "Lenora's Artisan Edibles." Each Friday I make 12-18 loaves of Amish-recipe bread for sale on Saturday. My neighbors have been wonderful about stopping by for a loaf of fresh, hand-kneaded bread. I'm also saving up to repair the transmission on the car and the busted windshield. Like the old cliche says, "If it's not chickens, it's feathers."

Your continued support and spreading the word to your friends, family, church, prayer groups and social media contacts means so much to us.

But most of all...just keep praying! The more time I have with this wonderful man, the more jealous I am for more time with him. Five years and still going strong, baby!

Thank you all and take care!

~ Mrs. Michael (Lenora) Thompson

Posted on September 30, 2016

Posted on September 30, 2016

Hello Supporters,

I can't believe it's been eight months since our last update. Wow! Where did the time go?

Here's hoping this update finds you all well. I'll be frank. I'm ecstatic that Summer is over. After three years of smiling through gritted teeth, I'm finally admitting that I HATE GARDENING. If it weren't for the heat, bugs and dirt, I wouldn't mind it a bit. ;)

Michael is stable. Of course, he's still hacking, coughing and dry-heaving the excess protein out of his lungs all the time. As long as it comes up and out, we're happy. The hospital bed you helped us afford last year allows him to sleep inclined, which keeps him from laying flat and "drowning" at night. It's also helped his back pain!

Of course, he also suffers from fibro and had a severe rheumatoid flare-up recently. It's days like that when he longs for some kind of tub, wishing he could soak his sore joints and bones in hot, hot water. Alas, we only have a shower. So I decided to do something about it. In addition to my freelance writing, I've launched a pyrography (woodburned) artwork business selling oak plaques and wooden spoons burned with artwork and catchy quotes or cliches. And as Henry David Thoreau said, I've met with "success unexpected in common hours." Literally flying off the shelves. Can't keep 'em in stock! Here's a link to the Gallery. Hopefully, if I sell enough plaques, we can get some kind of tub.

Well, that's about all that's new with us. Oh, a couple of new writing venues have opened up. More details coming in future.

Let us know how you're doing! [email protected]

Thanks again for being there for us. It means more than you'll ever know!

Have a happy Autumn!

~ Lenora Thompson, Michael's wife

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