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State Sen. Sharon Runner back on lung transplant list

January 4, 2012 |  1:23 pm

California state Sen. Sharon Runner

State Sen. Sharon Runner (R-Lancaster) said Wednesday she will be working indefinitely away from her office as she awaits a lung transplant because of complications from an autoimmune condition.

Runner, 57, announced in 2008 that she had been diagnosed with limited scleroderma, in which the body’s immune system attacks the healthy connective tissue. But she had remained healthy enough to previously have been taken off a transplant list, win election to the state Senate last year to a seat previously held by her husband, and serve in office. She said Wednesday she is back on the list for surgery.

"After several lung infections, the doctors have put me on the lung transplant list," Runner said in a statement. "Because I am susceptible to infections, I will be working away from the office for the time being."

Runner said she will rely on telephone, email and other electronic communication to continue to serve as senator for the citizens of her district, which includes portions of  Los Angeles, Ventura, Kern and San Bernardino counties, including the Antelope and Santa Clarita valleys.

"Given my overall good health, combined with my age, the doctors expect me to make a full recovery," Runner added. "And I look forward to continue the fight to protect Californians.”

Spokesman David Lynch declined to say whether Runner has been hospitalized or when doctors believe she might be able to get a transplant and return to attending Senate sessions.

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Legislator has rare disease

 — Patrick McGreevy

Photo: Sharon Runner in 2011 as she campaigned for a Senate seat that she eventually won. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times

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