Nolf Chrysler Dodge Praises Transplants; Slates Two-Day ‘Thank You’ Event

IMG_2145-786x1024FAIRMOUNT CITY, Pa. (EYT) – It’s not unusual for car dealers to have sales from time to time, but Mark Nolf wanted to stage a “Thank You” event for the community support he received back in 2014 when he was recovering from a lung transplant.

Nolf, owner of Nolf Chrysler Dodge with his brother Randy, are holding the special “Thank You” event Wednesday and Thursday, April 27 and 28 in honor of April being named National Donate Life Month.

A lung transplant and the surgeons at Simmons Center for Interstitial Lung Disease at UPMC helped Nolf make a “miraculous” recovery, and Nolf would also like to support the efforts of CORE (Center for Organ Recovery and Education).

“I couldn’t believe the number of people who supported me when I was going through all of this and the many people who stopped by the dealership just to check on how I was doing,” said Nolf.

The two-day event will include refreshments, prizes and giveaways, and information on organ donation. A drawing for a $500.00 Visa gift card will be held for anyone who signs up to be an organ donor during the event. Other drawings will be held for Visa gift cards.

“It started in the fall of 2012 when I noticed I was getting short of breath, and like a lot of people, I was out of shape, and it started getting worse,” said Nolf. “In the spring of 2013, I was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis – it came from an unknown cause is how they explained it to me. It’s basically your lungs scar up, and they don’t have any idea why. Later that fall the anti-bodies attacked scarring in my lungs, which made it real bad – real quick. I ended up down at UPMC, and they were able to head that off. I was evaluated for a transplant, and in December of 2013, I went on the transfer list.”

“I made seven what they call ‘false runs’ where I went down there, and things didn’t work out. The eighth time was November 4, and I actually got my transplant. By that time, I was on eight liters of oxygen and couldn’t do much except rest. I couldn’t do much but walk around a little bit, but I couldn’t climb steps without stopping.”

Nolf said things have worked out well since the surgery, and he couldn’t have asked for a better time.

“I had the transplant, and I was out of the hospital in seven days,” continued Nolf. “Less than 48 hours after the transplant, they had me up and walking, and by the end of that week, it was just miraculous. By the end of seven days, I was walking with no oxygen. We’ve had some ups and downs that are part of the way it is. I had bouts of rejection, and I did have to have my gall bladder removed later and that may have come with the medicine. I’ve had just a few setbacks, but overall, it’s been fantastic.”

Mark and his family, wife Michelle and children Ryan and Megan, celebrated his one-year anniversary on November 4 last year with a 15-mile bike ride along the Redbank Trail to Climax. After the surgery, he wanted to get healthier and started riding a bike.

Nolf gave UPMC high marks for his care at UPMC.

“They have a tremendous lung transplant program,” said Nolf. “They are one of top transplant centers in the nation and the world. From what I understand, there are only two or three other transplant centers of their caliber in the nation with their size and capabilities. They do a lot of high-risk stuff that other places won’t touch.”

He also has some advice if anyone else found themselves in a similar health situation.

“I would get to a center of excellence is what they call it,” said Nolf. “UPMC has it where they use a team of doctors and specialists that deal with those problems every day and look at the big picture. That’s all they do is this type of stuff, where it’s so rare that nobody has any experience in it. Obviously, you don’t need to run there every time you get a sniffle, but if you have anything serious, I would go to one of the big centers where there is knowledge and so forth to deal with it. I wouldn’t hesitate to get a second opinion if you have any serious issues.”

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