24 Year Old Cystic Fibrosis Patient Needs Double Lung Transplant

By KBJR News 1

May 1, 2012 Updated May 2, 2012 at 10:50 AM CDT

Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system.

30,000 people in the U.S live with it...but one Northland boy is trying to beat it.

24-year-old Preston Thayer is a young man with plenty of goals he hopes to attain.

"I just want to go to school and get a degree and actually have something to show for it and I'm sober, I don't drink and I want to be a positive role model for my native community," says Thayer.

But the same disease that took his younger brother's life just a year ago, is now threatening his own.

"Circumstances are piling up on him...with his younger brother passing away, that's basically what I was worried about and if I could help him or if anyone else can, it's worth it," says Thayer's friends, Catrina White & Carole DeMain.

And he's going to need the help.

A Doctor's prognosis is giving him only a couple more months to live... unless he receives a double lung transplant.

"I said no, I'm not ready to die, I'm not. I still got lots of things to do, I'm not going to give up yet. If there's a chance or even a miracle, I'm going to do it," Thayer says.

But despite the disheartening outlook, Thayer is remaining optimistic and isn't giving up the fight to live.

"In spite of everything he's been through in his short 24 years, he's amazing. He's positive and he wants to live right now. That's what he told me, 'I'm not ready to die ma...I want to live," says close friend and mother figure, Bobbie Schemwell.

While Preston receives treatment in Minneapolis, his friends back in Hayward are doing all they can to raise money for his procedures.

"If we can help out with those odds then that's what we're going to do...and hopefully we'll get help with doing that," says White & DeMain.

A Spaghetti Lunch Fundraiser and raffle will be held for Preston Thayer on Thursday, May 10th...starting at 11 AM at the Tribal Office in Hayward, Wisconsin. If you would like to donate items for the raffle...or finances, call Carole DeMain (715-558-8395).

A fund has been sent up in Preston's name at:
LCO FCU
Acct. 2563
LCO Box 1710
Hayward, WI 54843

Danyel Piecek
dpiecek@northlandsnewscenter.com