Brett Anderson was living a healthy and active life with his wife and dog in Hot Springs, Virginia. He had worked as a pilot for United Airlines for 26 years out of Washington D.C. and was a senior Captain flying International routes to Europe and South America. In the late summer of 2021 he noticed that he was having excessive shortness of breath with simple exertions, such as walking up a slight hill, something very unusual for him as he regularly ran 3-4 miles a day, rode motorcycles off-road, and lifted weights. As this continued and got worse Brett went to his doctor who took a chest x-ray and immediately sent him to the local emergency room, where they admitted him to the hospital for 4 days. He was diagnosed with Chronic Eosinophilic Pneumonia, a type of Autoimmune Lung disease. After being released and started on a treatment regimen, he got better for a while, but then stopped improving after a few months. He could not get back to running and other cardio activities without extreme shortness of breath.
Concerned about the long-term effects, Brett went to one of the top pulmonology clinics in the world, the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester MN, where he was eventually diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis as a result of the Eosinophilic Pneumonia.
Knowing that PF is a terminal lung disease, but not knowing if he had one year or many left, Brett decided to not only fulfill some dreams of his own by riding his motorcycle in different areas around the world, but to use his journeys to inspire others and to show that a bad medical diagnosis does not mean you have to stop living your life. Because the FAA has decided that he cannot keep flying with this disease, his career is currently on hold, but he is working with his doctors to convince the FAA that he is safe to keep flying at his current disease level. In the meantime, Brett decided to raise money for Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness and research through a fundraiser for the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation.
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