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SharonRunner.JPGRepublican Sen. Sharon Runner announced today that an ongoing battle with a rare autoimmune condition has landed her back on the lung transplant list.

The 57-year-old Lancaster Republican, who has been diagnosed with a condition called limited scleroderma for more than 20 years, said the decision to again seek a double lung transplant was made by her doctors after she experienced several lung infections.

To avoid risk of future infections, she is not returning to the Capitol as the Legislature reconvenes today. She said in a statement, however, that she plans to continue work away from the office in what her chief of staff described as a "germ-free location."

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

Runner, a former assemblywoman, was elected last year to fill the seat vacated by her husband George Runner's election to the state Board of Equalization. She said at the time of her run that her treatment for limited scleroderma, which has no known cure, had been successful and that she no longer required the transplant. She had been hospitalized for infections related to limited scleroderma in 2008, about two years after she began suffering from complications related to the condition.

PHOTO CREDIT: Assembly Member Sharon Runner, listens to Mexican President Felipe Calderón speak to a joint session of the California Assembly and Senate at the state Capitol on Feb. 13, 2008. (Sacramento Bee file photo / Brian Baer)



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