Local Teen in Need of Double Lung Transplant

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It's that point in June when it's time for the high school highlight reel -- prom dresses and graduation stories -- but most new grads haven't had to hang their class of 2015 finery off of IV poles.

"At night it's gotten to the point ... where I'm supposed to be wearing oxygen," said Champagne Hardesty.

Champagne's talking about the latest complication in her 18-year battle with cystic fibrosis.

"Four breathing treatments in the morning, and then I have this thing called the vest where it's like ... it shakes you to loosen up the mucus," she said.

Whereas a healthy person might have 98 to 100 percent lung function, Champagne's has been in the mid-20s this year.

That's put  her regular routine of hospital stays on a crash course with a national registry listing for a double lung transplant.

"For me, it was scary," she said, remembering getting that news from doctors back in January.

"When they evaluated her, you know, and said, 'We think she's ready to be listed now,' it kind of threw me for a loop.  She was stoic, and I cried," said her adopted mother Brenda Hardesty.

Part of what Hardesty was feeling was not just about the physical and emotional cost of a transplant, but also the financial one, as she tries to care for Champagne and six other medically fragile children at home.

Mother and daughter will have to stay close to Stanford University for about three months after new lungs are found and transplanted.

"They came back with 'You need to raise $50,000,' and I thought, 'Oh my word, how can we do that?" Hardesty said.

Encore Catering and the Rancho Victoria Vineyard have stepped up to help the family answer that question by hosting a Lungs for Life Champagne Brunch for Champagne on June 27.

With that kind of support and a new set of lungs, Champagne hopes to breathe in life in ways she never has before like taking a dance class and traveling to Paris.

"I can't fly on an airplane because my lungs would collapse," she said.

"Oh she's so brave, and she does it with such grace," her mom said. "You know you just have to be, strong. You have to be strong for them."

The Children's Organ Transplant Association, or COTA, is overseeing all fundraising efforts for Champagne, so ticket purchases are tax deductible and 100 percent will go for her care.

To learn more just click on www.lungsforchampagne.com.