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KTLA 5: Lung Transplant Patient Toni Perez Completes Los Muertos 5K Run/Walk

KTLA 5 recently interviewed Toni Perez, who received a double lung transplant at Cedars-Sinai last year. Perez spoke with news anchors Lauren Lyster and Doug Kolk before running the Los Muertos 5K run/walk in downtown Los Angeles to celebrate the Day of the Dead. 

An exuberant Perez told Lyster and Kolk that she was participating in the 5K to show her pulmonologist, Reinaldo Rampolla, MD, medical director of the Lung Transplant Program at Cedars-Sinai, and his care team that she is thriving with her new lungs, as they’d promised she would.

“They said, ‘We can't guarantee you a long life, but we can guarantee you have a better quality of life,’ and that is what I'm having right now,’” Perez told Lyster and Kolk.

Perez said that despite a challenging recovery, she couldn’t believe how quickly she regained strength after her double lung transplant. After doing physical therapy at home on her treadmill last October, the seasoned runner decided she was ready for a race and completed last year’s Los Muertos 5K run/walk just 11 weeks after her transplant. She has participated in other races as well because she has “a desire to keep walking and get stronger.”

Perez told Lyster and Kolk, “I came last year, and it was 11 weeks, and my doctor was not too happy about that. But I did it, I finished, and I wanted to kiss the ground. So, I’m here today, and I’m gonna do it again.” 

Click here to watch the complete segment from KTLA 5.