Every Breath You Take

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When Yarris sponsored the Lung Foundation of Australia at their recent Fun Run, Patricia Mcilwraith, ConSol Product Owner, and Mayuri Pendyala, Developer and their families were there to represent us.

Breathing is something we all take for granted, given we take over 22,000 breaths a day. Many of us have experienced how frightening it is when we have difficulty breathing however this is generally only a temporary panic. For people with lung disease, fighting to breathe is their daily reality.

Lung diseases range from chronic respiratory disease (including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and others), respiratory infections (influenza, pneumonia) and respiratory neoplasms, including lung cancer and mesothelioma. Around 50 people in Australia die each day from lung disease, accounting for around 14% of deaths.

In 2009, former Chairman of Yarris, Tony Hyams was diagnosed with a rare fatal condition called Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, which caused his lungs to become progressively scarred. At this time, little was known about this disease and Tony spent the next few years consulting lung experts and researching what could be done. His research put him in touch with the Lung Foundation of Australia (LFA), a national charity dedicated to supporting anyone with a lung disease. By 2014, Tony was on the LFA Board.

By late 2015, things were looking fairly dire for Tony and he started to settle his affairs when his own personal miracle happened. He was placed on the transplant list at the Alfred Hospital and within a few months a match was found. He underwent a double lung transplant in early December 2015 and was home for Christmas. After a 12-week rehabilitation program, Tony was fit enough to return to work.

When LFA decided to host a public Fun Run to raise their profile in November this year, it was natural for Tony to reach out to his old friends at Yarris for some sponsorship. Yarris has a history of sponsoring worthy causes including scholarships for Indigenous and overseas students, sports teams and the Red Cross.

On 27 November 2016, a small contingent of Yarris staff and their families braved the damp and drizzle at Olympic Park, home of the Collingwood football club, to participate in a 5km walk. The inaugural event, hosted by Eddie McGuire, had 387 registered participants and raised over $25,000. A fun morning was had by all.