COPD 9 Patient Education Workshop will Inform, Inspire and Empower Patients!

April 9th, 2015 | Author: Jane Martin

Something very special will be happening in Chicago this June, and you’re invited. The international COPD9USA conference is a unique medical conference where top researchers, health care professionals, and patients, family members and caregivers not only co-exist in the same space, but are encouraged to interact – and even ask tough questions.

COPD advocate Grace Anne Dorney Koppel will facilitate the workshop. Diagnosed with very severe COPD in 2001, she crop continues to live a full, rewarding life in spite of her diagnosis. Internationally-known COPD experts Barbara Yawn, MD, Bartolome Celli, MD, Paul Simonelli, MD, PhD, Keith Robinson, MD, Stephen Rennard, MD, Barry Make, MD, Scott Cerreta, MS, RRT, and Mr. John W. Walsh will talk with the audience about COPD Basics, Over/under Diagnosis-Over/under Treatment of COPD, Individualizing COPD Care and a look at the Past, Present and Future of COPD.

COPD9USA will take place on June 5-6 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare hotel – 9300 Bryn Mawr Ave Rosemont, IL 60018. Free valet parking is available for patients on a first-registered-first-served basis.

Register today by calling 1-866-316-COPD (2673) or visiting our website.

A Mother-Daughter Journey with COPD through Cooking

February 18th, 2015 | Author: Aleena Gardezi

Jennifer with her mother.

Jennifer with her mother.

When Jennifer Cowgill’s mother, Marla Loftis, passed away from COPD, Jennifer wanted to do something special to honor her mother. Because a lot of her favorite memories with her mother were in the kitchen, she decided to create a cookbook.

Jennifer shares her story

I was 8 months pregnant with her first and only granddaughter when my mother, Marla Loftis, passed away from COPD February 16, 2013. We had the closest relationship; she meant the world to me. We did and talked about everything together, nothing was off limits. A lot of my favorite memories with my mom are watching her in the kitchen. We always had some of our best talks there.

The decision to make this cookbook is simply because Mom loved to cook and bake for the family. She was a natural at cooking, going off of memory and without actual recipes to follow.

The recipes she did have I put in this cookbook, and are a dedication to her and her love for cooking. I want to preserve our memories not only for myself, but for the granddaughter she never got to meet. This is a way to pay tribute to my mom that will last forever. My hope and devotion is that love is continually shared through this cookbook.

COPDF: Did you know what COPD was before your mother was diagnosed?

Jennifer: I was a very young child when my mother was diagnosed, so her having COPD was all I ever knew.

COPDF: How did it change your every day life and your life as a family?

Jennifer: Nothing seemed to change in the beginning, because I’ve always known my mom with COPD. My mother never smoked a cigarette, so she couldn’t make quick changes such as to stop smoking. My mom didn’t really let it interfere with her life as I was growing up. She worked, took care of her family, and exercised regularly. Besides her chronic cough, you would never guess she had a disease and I guess that’s why my mom never took it too seriously.

COPDF: Did you make any changes to the way you live your life after the diagnosis?

Jennifer: Now that I’m an adult and saw how much my mom suffered in the end from not taking good care of herself, yes. I have learned to listen more to my body and take greater care for myself.

COPDF: What advice do you have for other family members coping with a COPD diagnosis?

Jennifer: Stress is the number one thing that my mom was always under and it made her disease so much worse. Reduce or eliminate any possible stress. Keep active and eat lots of small meals throughout the day.

My mom was very active until the COPD progressed. Then, she would only eat one big meal a day, this caused her lots of indigestion, which in turn made it harder to breathe.

COPD can be manageable with proper education and care. My mother lived with the disease for almost 35 years with little to no education. She seemed to be fine except for lung infections, chronic cough, breathlessness, etc… Her disease progressed extremely quickly the last 4 years of her life.

Please get educated and get different opinions from different doctors if you aren’t happy with the doctor you have. Learn all the stages of COPD and breathing techniques for times you are breathless. Just take good care of yourself and always search for new treatments!

COPDF: What inspired you to advocate for COPD awareness?

Jennifer: My focus and drive for bringing awareness to COPD is out of the love I have for my mom. She was everything to me and died way too young. I wish we would have researched more and asked more questions early on in the disease, instead of waiting so long to where nothing could be done. It was extremely hard to watch such a vibrant and active women turn into a person who could no longer care for herself. She ended up in a wheelchair and couldn’t even talk to me on the phone anymore because she was hurting and couldn’t breathe. I want her story to be heard in hopes of helping at least one person and their family.

COPDF: How has your experience spreading awareness been?

Jennifer:It’s been great. So, many people either didn’t know what COPD was or they thought they could only get it if they smoked. I have also found that a few of my friends have relatives that were just recently diagnosed with COPD so it makes me very happy that I can help to show them where and how to get educated so they won’t suffer like my mom did. The COPD Foundation website ( is an amazing resource to start your personal education.

COPDF: What are your goals?

Jennifer: My goals are this: To honor my mom and to keep her memory alive an to use my cookbook to bring awareness to COPD. I would love to be able to write the COPD Foundation a big check from the book sales, so others can have better education and care than my mom did.

To check out Jennifer’s cookbook and to donate to the COPD Foundation, please visit


Smoking and COPD – We Can Help

January 7th, 2015 | Author: Fabiana Beltran

The Centers for Disease Control today reported that close to half of U.S. adults over 40 who live with asthma or COPD still continue to smoke. The information follows a recent CDC report which found that 15 percent of Americans between 40 and 79 years of age suffer from an obstruction of the lungs, such as COPD. The study concluded that 46 percent of adults between the ages of 40 and 79 with COPD currently smoked, with the statistic rising to 55 percent of individuals with “moderate or worse” levels of the disease.



Researchers found that rates of smoking for individuals with COPD and similar diseases more than doubled that of people who do not live with such illnesses.

“Cigarette smoking is the most important, but not the only, risk factor for COPD in the United States. The single most important intervention a smoker with COPD can do is to stop smoking. However, COPD often progresses in patients long after they have stopped smoking, and up to 25% of people with evidence of COPD have never smoked. The COPD Foundation continues to pursue better strategies to prevent, treat, and some day, cure, COPD,” said David M. Mannino, M.D., member of the COPD Foundation’s Board of Directors and Professor at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health.

The COPD Foundation is committed to assisting those who live with COPD and their efforts to quit smoking. The Foundation recognizes the various challenges our community members face and offers peer-to-peer support for those who wish to quit. If you live with COPD and would like to speak with someone directly about your options, please call our C.O.P.D. Information Line at 1-866-316-2673, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. EST. You may also visit for online peer support.

For more information about smoking cessation, please visit the COPD Foundation website here.

Read the full CDC report here.

Running for his Father and the COPD Community

January 5th, 2015 | Author: Fabiana Beltran

Justin Daniels is a distance runner from Richmond, Indiana who is dedicated to honoring those who live with COPD by racing in all 50 states in 2015. He started his hobby when his father Leonard, 60, was diagnosed with COPD. “His lungs don’t work very well, so I am making it my mission to spread awareness about this disease,” Justin says. “I set up a booth at each event I am running with information that I am able to pass out to anyone wanting to know more about what I am doing. My mom helps pass out the information while I am running my races, but before and after I am at the booth or walking throughout the area asking people if they know someone living with COPD.”

The COPD Foundation caught up Justin to learn more about his efforts:

Q: How long have you been a runner?

A: I started out running while I was in high school as a Junior and Senior where I was a member of the cross country team as well as the track team. I started getting serious about distance running in 2011 wfaces1hen I found out  my dad had COPD. I felt like I needed to do something not only for him but for everyone else living with the disease. I knew there wasn’t much I could really do besides make people more aware of what COPD actually is, as well try and raise money to help find a cure.

Q: How did you get involved in raising awareness for COPD?

A: I feel there are so many people living in the United States alone that know nothing or very little about what COPD is and how they can get treated to live a better life. I have worked at Reid Hospital in Richmond, Indiana for almost 2 years now and I see a lot of COPD patients in the ICU. I feel that with increased education they might be able to avoid a trip to the hospital and could have a better chance at living a more normal life.

Q: When you started your endeavor two years ago, what was your main goal?

A: When I first started doing the marathons 2 years ago, my main goal was to run a marathon in honor of my dad and everyone else living with COPD. After running that first marathon I felt like I couldn’t do another one because of the pain I was in, but after awhile I thought about how my dad and everyone with COPD endure a lot more pain, so I continued.

Q: What are your goals now?

A: My current goal is to run a marathon in all 50 states; I would like to do this as soon as I can. On November 1st, 2014 I completed my 4th marathon – my biggest and toughest race so far. I raced the Chicago marathon on October 12th, 2014 and I wanted to see how I would feel after only taking 2 weeks off. I actually felt really good, so now I know I can run races closer together. I feel running in every state will give me a chance to spread the word and pass out information to as many people as possible -  just in case they have symptoms so they are able to get checked out by their doctor. It also gives me the chance to meet COPD patients that live with the disease on a daily basis. I want the races to give patients hope and reassurance that there is someone out there taking action to give them a voice.

faces2Q: What inspires you to continue racing for COPD awareness?

A: My main inspiration to keep running to bring awareness to COPD is my dad and the millions of people living with COPD each day. My dad and I have a very close relationship with each other. Every other person with COPD has family that care about them as well. I feel this is the least I could do to honor them the best way I can. On days when the weather isn’t perfect or I’m too tired, I look around and think,  “My life’s not so bad,” which then inspires me to get out the door and go.

Q: What advice do you have for others who would like to take similar action?

A: My advice for anyone who would like to take action is to research as much information you can so you have knowledge of what the disease actually is. I also think whatever you choose to do to make people aware, make sure you give it 110% all the time, even when you think it may not be possible. You can achieve anything if you really want to – it just may take more time.

You can find Justin’s “Run for a Cure” Facebook page here.

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