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Learn About Me

Art Cardenas is a retired firefighter who worked for the City of Burlingame Fire Department for 30 years. Shortly after his retirement, Art was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis. The doctors told Art that the cause of this disease was exposure to smoke, gases, and other harmful chemicals in the fires.

During the years as a firefighter, Art pursued his passion for photography. Art was drawn to capture candid scenes of nature, people, and structures native to Puerto Vallarta and California. After being diagnosed and living with pulmonary fibrosis, Art has decided to sell his pictures and use the proceeds from the sales to support individuals living with this debilitating disease.

Pulmonary Fibrosis

In pulmonary fibrosis, the walls of the air sacs (alveoli) become inflamed, and the tissue (interstitium) that lines and supports the sacs becomes increasingly thickened and scarred.  Normally, the air sacs are highly elastic, expanding and contracting like small balloons with each breath.  But scarring (fibrosis) causes the thin, interstitial tissue to become stiffer and thicker, making the air sacs less flexible.  Instead of being soft and elastic, scarred air sacs have the texture of a stiff sponge, which makes it more difficult to breathe and harder for oxygen to enter a person’s bloodstream.   The scarring also makes the lungs stiffer and more difficult to inflate.

UC Davis Pulmonary and Critical Care Division

The Pulmonary Rehabilitation (PR) Program at UC Davis Health System (UCDHS) is an AACVPR-accredited program that empowers patients through education, exercise, motivation and support to help improve their quality of life. The multidisciplinary team of specialists provides a wide range of care to individuals and their families. The outpatient PR program includes a comprehensive evaluation, monitored and supervised exercise, education, psychosocial support and nutritional guidance.