“Breath Unlmited- Be a Life Donor” Campaign HCFA-TEAM February 15, 2023

“Breath Unlmited- Be a Life Donor” Campaign

Transplants in Cystic Fibrosis

In Cystic Fibrosis the first organ that is damaged is the lung. Lung transplant is the only survival option for CF patients who are in sevecritical lung condition.

With the initiatives of the Hellenic Cystic Fibrosis Association in 2014, an agreement was signed between the National Transplantation Organisation (EOM) and the Austrian Transplant Centre (AKH), thanks to which more than 25 patients were transplanted in Vienna. Since June 2019, the natioanl lung transplant programme has been launched in Greece at the Onassio Cardio Surger Centre, with the support of the Onassis Foundation. In 2022, the first two successful lung transplants in patients with CF were performed in Greece.

One of the main problems in transplants is the low number of organ donors. In order to become an organ donor, a person must be certified with brain death, which is an irreversible condition. Organ donation is a difficult process, requiring a well-organised health system with a sufficient number of specialised scientists. More about lung transplantation in Cystic Fibrosis here.

2nd chance in life "Breath Unlimited - Be a life donor"

We support organ donation with actions!

Organ donation is the highest act of love and altruism, eight people can be saved by a single donor!

Hellenic Cystic Fibrosis Association has launched the campaign “Breath Unlimited – Be a Life Donor” since 2020, with the support of the President of the Hellenic Republic, Mrs. Katerina Sakellaropoulou.

The central action of the campaign is the murals in centra hospitals of the country. Their aim is to raise awareness about Cystic Fibrosis and the struggle of patients for Unlimited Breath, to motivate them to become organ donors and to give the 2nd chance in life to patients by “recycling” their organs. The murals have been designed in central hospitals across the country, as the organ donation takes place in the ICUs of the hospitals.

As part of the campaign, a music concert was held in September 2023 at the “Thanasis Vengos” theatre in Korydallos with the music band “48 Ores”, in order to raise awareness about Cystic Fibrosis and organ donation. 

The campaign is under the auspices of the National Transplantation Organization (EOM), the Onassio Cardiac Surgery Center, the General Hospital of Nikaia “Agios Panteleimon”, the General Hospital of Piraeus “Tzaneio”.

The campaign has been awarded with Silver Healthcare Award 2021, as during covid-19 it helped to increase the number of organ donors with 631 new registrations in the National Transplant Organization’s Organ Donor Registry.

Our first mural

As part of the campaign, the Association created its first mural at the Nikaia Hospital in 2020. The mural depicts Lena, a real patient with Cystic Fibrosis, who had a lung transplant in 2016 in Austria at the age of 18 years old. Lena’s face captures the patient of every age and condition who is in critical lung condition. 

She wears an oxygen mask struggling to breath. She offers the oxygen tube to each of us, so that we can offer her unlimited breath through a lung transplant.

The mural is located at the General Hospital of Nikaia “Agios Panteleimon” after the immediate response of the former Director of the hospital Mr. Mytoglou Anastasios and was created by “Humane”, “Urban act” and the artist same84 with the kind support of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Non-profit company “Aegeas”, Flame and Drone photography.

Our second mural

In 2023, the Association created its second mural at the Tzaneio Hospital in Piraeus. The mural depicts Stella, a real patient with Cystic Fibrosis, the only one in Greece who had a lung transplant, not once but twice, fighting for two times for a 2nd chance at life.

In Stella’s face we highlight the hope, the struggle of patients who fight for their breath and they succeed. They manage to transform themselves, to be reborn and to win the 2nd chance at life. The mural is a constant reminder of our patients’ everyday struggle and the value of organ donation to hospital’s visitors and the general public. 

The mural is located at the Piraeus General Hospital “Tzaneio” after the immediate response of the Tzaneio’s Director Mr. Ilias Gozouasis and was created by the street artist Hambas with the kind support of Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Onassis Foundation.

The concert

As part of the campaign and on the occasion of HCFA’s 40th anniversary, a music concert was held in September 2023 to raise awareness about Cystic Fibrosis and organ donation. The concert started with support messages of the President of the Hellenic Republic, the Greek Minister of Health, the Presidents of the National Transplantation Organization (EOM), Onassis Foundation and Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center, as well as the Director of the General Hospital of Piraeus “Tzaneio”. The music band “48 Ores” with great energy turned the event into an interactive party of joy and happiness celbrating the message of CF patients for Unlimited Breath and a 2nd chance at life. Very touching was the moment when young children presented their banner that they created for CF patients and then they released balloons into the sky wishing Unlimited Breath for CF patients. See more here.

The concert took place on September 20, 2023, at the open theatre of Korydallos “Thanasis Vengos” with the music band “48 Ores”, under the auspices of the National Transplantation Organization, the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center, the Municipality of Korydallos and with kind support of Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Major Sponsor), Gilead (Bronze Sponsor), Motor Oil (Donor).

Support message of the President of the Hellenic Republic

The country’s first citizen, the President of the Hellenic Republic, Mrs Katerina Sakellaropoulou, supports the campaign’s actions, inviting Greek citizens to set new goals: to become organ donors, to support lung transplantation with actions. The video with Mrs Sakellaropoulou support message here.

«I want to express my full support for "Breath Unlimited" campaign to raise awareness about organ donation and lung transplantation. I know how dangerous the disease is, how difficult the life of the patients is, how likely they are to be deprived of life due to respiratory failure. I am also aware of the struggle of the Hellenic Cystic Fibrosis Association to ensure that sufferers of the disease in our country have free early access to the revolutionary treatment that can stop the symptoms of the disease, preventing the destruction of the organs of the body, especially the lungs. The positive outcome of this fight fills us with hope. However, greater hope is given by the possibility of transplantation, and this is based on the availability of potential donors. Organ donation is an act of love and social solidarity, an act that multiplies life. I assure you that you will find me as a supporter in the great effort to inform and raise awareness of our fellow citizens in all the steps of your difficult struggle."

Katerina Sakellaropoulou - President of the Hellenic Republic
We support CF & lung transplants with actions

We are informed about Cystic Fibrosis and prevention of the disease.

We give Breath Unlimited to CF patients.

We become organ donors.