Lung transplant patient tackles new challenge
Just nine months after undergoing a lung transplant, Bob Senander plans to take on a major physical challenge: climbing to the top of the John Hancock Center. The 69-year-old has spent countless hours climbing the stair machine at the Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Center to train for the annual “Hustle Up the Hancock” event on Feb. 22 in Chicago.
Senander trains at the Wellness Center with personal trainer Ami Hays, who he says pushes him to be his best.
“There’s no way I would be able to do this on my own,” he said. “I wouldn’t know how to pace myself.”
In 2009, Senander was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, an inflammatory lung disorder characterized by abnormal formation of fibrous tissue between the tiny air sacs or ducts of the lungs; it can result in infections, emphysema and heart problems. He used supplemental oxygen for five years before undergoing the transplant in 2014.
The Winfield resident began training for the climb in December, working out with Hays a few days a week using a combination of cardiovascular exercises and weight training. Hays monitors his vital signs throughout his workout to ensure Senander doesn’t overexert himself.
Senander will join more than 4,000 people who participate in the event to raise funds for lung disease research, advocacy and education. Participants can do the full climb (94 floors) or a half climb of 52 floors. Senander belongs to a team planning to complete the full climb and his goal is to complete the climb in two hours.
About the Author
Lisa Parro, health enews contributor, is manager of content strategy for Advocate Aurora Health. A former journalist, Lisa has been in health care public relations since 2008 and has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. She and her family live in Chicago’s western suburbs.