Quest for Breath

The Quest for Breath Gift Fund supports ongoing research into finding better diagnostic and treatment options, and ultimately a cure for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). The fund was started by the Galvin family who had lost several family members to the disease, and were motivated by the plight of their family and that of many others, to commit to changing the course of IPF. Their mission is to raise money for research efforts, increase awareness about this seriously under-diagnosed disease, and to give hope to patients with IPF. 

"We started Quest for Breath because we are so profoundly grateful for what we have and because we want to try to make the world a better place by our actions and presence in it.  As we commit our energies to this important and worthy cause, it is our hope that others will be motivated to similarly embrace their own gifts and the life that we have been given." - Katherine Galvin 

What is IPF

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic lung disease where scarring or thickening in the lungs occurs without a known cause. The scarring and thickening causes shortness of breath and cough, and decreases the ability for oxygen to get into the bloodstream. As a result, most patients end up on supplemental oxygen. While there is no known cure for IPF, medications are available to slow the progression of the disease.

A Story of Hope

The Martin Edward Galvin Fund for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) Research was established in loving honor of Marty's memory and to inspire hope for the tens of thousands of individuals currently affected by IPF. Marty succumbed to IPF just nine short months after his diagnosis in 1972. At the time of his death, our five children ranged in age from nine to three years old. Marty was the kind of man that everyone wanted to know and whom everyone called a friend. All who knew him remember a wise and kind soul who was always ready with a quick wit or quiet advice. While Marty was a unique man, unfortunately his story is not.

Christopher M. Galvin
Christopher Galvin, 1969-2006

All of his five siblings were subsequently diagnosed with IPF. In total, Marty's generation of the Galvin family lost a mother, three brothers, and a sister to IPF. In 2005, one of our sons was diagnosed with this same devastating disease. Christopher's fight against IPF was different than our other family members because we had Michigan Medicine on our side and with it, the hope that a lung transplant would save Christopher's life. Despite the excellent care provided to Christopher, he was too weak to survive the double lung transplant he eventually received and died of IPF in November 2006. In 2012, we were faced once again with the diagnosis of IPF for my son John, but we did not face it alone. The University of Michigan's excellent doctors and researchers were by our side.

Even though our story is a profound one, we are not alone. Many families share a similar story. In fact, approximately 89,000 Americans are currently diagnosed with IPF. Historically, there has been great difficulty in obtaining an accurate diagnosis; often individuals spend up to two years being misdiagnosed before finally receiving the correct diagnosis of IPF. In light of their shortened life expectancy of three to five years after disease onset, such a delay is devastating.

This situation does not apply at Michigan. Through its commitment to research and dedication to the individual patient, the Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine has developed a diagnostic protocol that is streamlined, sequential, and accurate. This buys time, and time affords options. Although currently there is still no cure for IPF, due to the steadfast efforts of the exceptional Michigan doctors and research scientists, we have never been closer. Their work is changing the course of history. Michigan gives us hope.

Mary Kay Galvin

Make a Gift

There are only a few medical centers around the world that offer comprehensive programs for diagnosing, treating, and studying the many forms of pulmonary fibrosis. Michigan Medicine is one of them. Donor support is crucial for our researchers to continue their progress and to discover new diagnostic and treatment options for IPF.

To support IPF research, please visit the Quest for Breath Gift Fund online giving page.

If you have any questions about making a gift or you are interested in learning about other philanthropy opportunities, please contact the Department of Internal Medicine Development Office:

Department of Internal Medicine, Development Office
Phone: (866) 860-0026
Email: [email protected]

Support Group

The Quest for Breath IPF Support Group was established in 2008 through funds from Quest for Breath. Monthly support group meetings are professionally facilitated and provide comprehensive information and support to those living with IPF and their family members.

If you have questions or need additional information about the Quest for Breath IPF Support Group, please contact Lori Flint, RN at [email protected].

Contact Us

Development Partner

If you have questions about making a gift to the Quest for Breath Gift Fund, please contact Andrea LaFave at [email protected] or call (866) 860-0026.

Health Partner

If you have questions or need additional information about the Quest for Breath IPF Support Group, please visit Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Support Groups or contact Lori Flint, RN at [email protected].