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Lung Transplant Recipient Supports Research in Post-transplantation

Jeff Goldstein As a lung transplant recipient, Jeff Goldstein knows the emotional roller coaster patients experience when their gift of life comes with the poorest prognosis of any solid organ transplant.

This is why Mr. Goldstein founded the Lung Transplant Foundation. As its president, he “advocates and agitates” for more research to address the complications of lung transplantation, particularly bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome, a major cause of chronic lung rejection.

For Mr. Goldstein, an entrepreneur diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis at age 41, it is mind boggling that the extraordinary financial investment and effort involved in lung transplantation is not matched by resources and research to ensure the new lungs work for an extended period of time. The odds of a lung patient transplanted today living five or more years are only about 50-50.

To improve those odds, Mr. Goldstein and his wife, Martha Austrich, recently made a $2 million estate gift to the ATS Foundation to support early career investigators, particularly in post-transplant research.

"Young researchers make a substantial sacrifice, making the support and encouragement the ATS gives them really important," he says. "We want our gift to recognize these researchers and the ATS."

Mr. Goldstein first learned about the ATS when his doctor asked him to speak at the 2012 ATS International Conference. Since then, the Lung Transplant Foundation has joined the ATS Public Advisory Roundtable. Mr. Goldstein used the opportunity to tell attendees what it is like to live with new lungs.

Every day, I am grateful that I’m still here," says Mr. Goldstein, who was transplanted nearly 15 years ago. “But I’m also fearful that this could be the day when everything changes."

Mr. Goldstein hopes to alter this precarious reality for lung recipients through his work with the Lung Transplant Foundation and his and his wife’s gift to the ATS Foundation.

The ATS supports the ATS Foundation’s administrative expenses, assuring that every dollar contributed goes directly to support programs.