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Gloucester resident battles for his life following pulmonary fibrosis diagnosis

Joe Ailstock didn’t tell his family right away when he was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis a year ago. The 49-year-old Gloucester resident was too stunned when the doctor told him that, without treatment, his life expectancy was a mere two years at the outside.

"He told me I could go on for a couple of years or suddenly go real quick," he said. "I was just going for a check-up; I wasn’t expecting that at all."

After a few days, Ailstock finally told his wife and father, who insisted that he get a second opinion. He eventually went to Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., and doctors there suggested a lung transplant. They held out hope for another three to 10 years and another transplant in the future.

Joe is clinging to that hope, but before he can get his second round of tests in May, he needs to come up with $15,000—$5,000 to pay for various medicines he’ll need after the surgery and $10,000 for living expenses for the ...

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