Cedar Rapids Man Seeks Double Lung Transplant

By Cindy Hadish

SOLON, Iowa - Jason Allen is looking for a little help from his friends as he awaits a double lung transplant.

Allen, 28, of Cedar Rapids, is hospitalized nearly once every month from complications of cystic fibrosis, an inherited disease that causes serious lung and digestive problems.

Since earlier this summer, Allen has been on a waiting list for a transplant at Washington University's Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.

Because of complications from a lobe removal from a lung several years ago, he was referred to the St. Louis hospital by University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, which has its own transplant program, says Allen's father, Jeff Allen of Solon.

Living in St. Louis, however, will be expensive, says Jeff Allen, who works in research at the Iowa City Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

His son will have to live there at least three months after the surgery and potentially for some time before the transplant, he says.

'It's hard to say when that will happen,' Jeff Allen says of the transplant. 'Right now, we'll just have to get in the car and go.' Jason Allen graduated from Solon High School in 2001 and attended Up per Iowa University while working in telemarketing until his health prevented him from attending school, his father says.

While the transplant will be covered by insurance, his disability income won't cover living expenses while he is recuperating in St. Louis, he says.

To help with living expenses, friends are organizing a fundraiser for Allen at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Timber D.O.M.E. Lodge, 700 W. Sovers St. in Solon.
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