Bill Reny was diagnosed with COPD nine years ago, while living in Maine. For several years, he tried to “live with it”, having to give up his profession of being a professional entertainer—a career he had for years and years.
Now living in Oak Hill, FL, Reny says he was finally granted full disability last June. The last time he was hospitalized was in February, when he suffered an exacerbation, and says he struggles with getting his medical care.
Having been a smoker for around 12 years, Reny also attributes his COPD to his time spent working in textile and saw mills in both Maine and Florida.
During this time, Reny says he was constantly coming down with bronchitis, flare-ups, and pneumonia.
After diagnosis, Reny says his life has been a day-to-day struggle.
“Anything can set it off—fumes, smoke, cars, humidity,” he says.
Reny, who is on full disability, says he loses his breath easily when trying to go out for a walk, and has to carefully monitor himself. He says he suffers from a lot of frustration when it comes to obtaining medications, and is trying to work through it.
Despite his struggles, he wants others to get his message: Don’t Smoke.
“Don’t smoke and don’t back down. If you’re working in an environment that’s bad for your health, say something about it,” he says.