Spreading The Word

Broadway Couple Sheds Light On Little-Known Disease

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Posted: March 9, 2013

The Rev. Delmar Shoemaker and his wife, Ellen, check his pulse oximeter to measure his oxygen saturation level on Thursday. Shoemaker, 66, has idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a little-understood disease that “suffocates” patients to death. (Photos by Michael Reilly / DN-R)
The Rev. Delmar Shoemaker and his wife Ellen greet their Pom Shih Tzu mix “Gizmo” at their home in Broadway Thursday.
Shoemaker uses portable oxygen tanks to help his breathing.
The Rev. Delmar Shoemaker gets some canine comfort from the family’s Pom Shih Tzu mix, Gizmo, at his home in Broadway on Thursday.
The Rev. Delmar Shoemaker makes his through the chapel at Freelandia Bible College on Thursday with the aid of an oxygen tank.
HARRISONBURG — Delmar Shoemaker expected to hear the six-letter word that sinks your heart and hits you like a Mack truck.

So he was relieved about four years ago when his doctor told him it…

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