A Gift More Than 40 Years in the Making
Wendy Sellers was a 30-year-old wife and mother when she finally received a definitive diagnosis for her ongoing lung issues: lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM). For the next few years, Wendy spent her time loving her two children and living the best life she could while battling this disease. She planted a magnificent flower garden, found hope in the blossoms of yellow tulips, and danced with her children while creating memories they cherish to this day.
In the early 1980s, Wendy’s husband, Rick, and her father-in-law, Dr. John Sellers, helped Wendy become established as a patient at the Mayo Clinic, ensuring she would receive the most advanced care available at that time. Wendy participated in early LAM studies and her journey was chronicled in The New England Journal of Medicine. Little was known about LAM at the time. There was no treatment available to Wendy and, sadly, she passed away at the age of 32.
The Sellers family credits funding for LAM research and the high level of participation in clinical trials to The LAM Foundation and its dedicated patient community. These efforts have advanced the understanding of LAM, resulting in an FDA-approved treatment in 2015 and, hopefully, paving the way to a cure.
Dr. Sellers passed away at the age of 103 in 2017. During the years following the loss of his daughter-in-law, his devotion to her and his understanding of the critical need to advance LAM research never waned. Wendy inspired him to leave a legacy for The LAM Foundation through a gift from his estate. The LAM Foundation received this transformational gift nearly 40 years after Wendy’s death, reminding us all of the profound impact one life can have on the lives of many others.