Posts Tagged COPD

Meet Your Member of Congress this Summer!

July 17th, 2014 | Author: Aimee Bulthuis

It’s that time of year again—August District Visits! Each August Congress takes its annual recess to return to their districts and meet with constituents, providing us with a great opportunity to raise awareness for Alpha-1 and COPD and start building a relationship with your member of Congress.

This year is unique because it’s a mid-term election year, meaning 1/3 of the Senate and all House of Representative members are up for election. This is a great chance to have your voice heard and help us change our nation’s health policies.

The COPD Foundation will help you in every way we can: scheduling the meeting, locating others to participate with you, providing talking points, mailing you leave behind packages, but we really depend on your involvement to make these meetings a success. To get involved please contact Rebecca Rudolph either by email, rrduolph@copdfoundation.org or by phone 866.731.2673 ext 451.

Steps for Meeting with Your Elected Officials

National Women’s Health Week–Celebrate the Women in Your Life

May 12th, 2014 | Author: Katelyn Turner

In honor of National Women’s Health Week, we want to celebrate all of the women in our lives, and encourage them to assess their health.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says, “We know that women are often the ones who make sure everyone – everyone else, that is – in our families are cared for. But too often, we put our own health last. women-and-smoking

But the reality is unless you take care of yourself, you cannot really take care of your family. That means eating right, exercising, quitting smoking, and getting the care necessary to stay healthy.”

COPD is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. More than 24 million Americans are living with the disease, and over half of these people don’t even know they have it. That’s because as people grow older, they mistake symptoms of COPD for regular signs of aging.

What are the symptoms? Increased breathlessness, frequent coughing (with and without sputum), wheezing, and tightness in your chest.

For women, COPD has begun to be an increasing problem.

  • 6.7 percent of adult women have COPD, compared to 5.2 percent of men
  • COPD kills more women every year than breast cancer and diabetes combined
  • Women who smoke are 13 times as likely to die from COPD
  • In 2011, there were over 492,000 hospitalizations for women with COPD

These are all reasons why it is important that you talk to your doctor as soon as you notice any of these symptoms. If you think you may be at risk, you can take our 5-question Risk Screener.

AARC’s Capitol Hill Advocacy Day–A Firsthand Account

April 14th, 2014 | Author: Aimee Bulthuis

Earlier this month, the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) hosted its annual Capitol Hill Advocacy Day. Over 100 respiratory therapists and patient advocates hit the Hill asking their legislators to support HR 2619, The Medicare Respiratory Therapist Access Act.  These tenacious advocates arranged over 325 congressional meetings to discuss the importance of patient access to RTs and the necessity of education for disease management.

Tabatha Dragonberry, a respiratory therapist from Virginia, attended the event and provides her first-hand account below:

Tabatha Dragonberry, RT

Tabatha Dragonberry, RT

“This is the first year that I have gone and the state of Virginia had patients join us. This bill is about the patients and getting them access to respiratory therapists in doctors’ offices and clinics. These amazing patients spoke on why they feel it is important to have access to RTs. They discussed how RTs can assist them in learning more about self-management and taking control of their disease. It was great to have them join us because in the end this bill is all about them and getting them access to RTs.

I learned that one of the patients had used his inhaler improperly for five years because in his care he was never taught the correct use. It is amazing that this happens. If you go to an orthopedic surgeon, it is a given you will see a physical therapist, but for patients with pulmonary disease they do not have access to RTs on the outpatient side. I am sure that if this patient had seen a respiratory therapist at his doctor’s office, he would have learned the proper way to use his inhaler much sooner.

Another difference this year was that I felt was that there were more positive responses from the congressional offices.  They know that healthcare is a hot topic and placing a patch here and a patch there is not going to fix the system.”

We thank Tabatha and all of the patients and RTs who spoke out on HR 2619.  To lend your voice to increase patient access to respiratory therapist visit the AARC’s Capitol Connection page.

Make Your Ripple

March 24th, 2014 | Author: Katelyn Turner

Despite being the third leading cause of death in the U.S., COPD is still unknown to many people. Bhavya Malladi and her grandfather, Evani RJ Rao, were among those people when he was diagnosed with COPD in October 2012. Upon his diagnosis, the lack of awareness and knowledge of such a devastating disease shocked Bhavya. She has since made it her mission to educate people around her so that no one else she loved would have to suffer the way her grandfather is.

Evani, 70, spent his life working as a hydro-geologist in India, and was exposed to dust from open field drilling. Although he quit smoking at the age of 53, Bhavya attributes the toxic fumes from his job and 20 years of smoking to her grandfather’s diagnosis. Within a year of being diagnosed, his condition drastically worsened. As she lives in California, and her grandfather lives in India, long phone calls with him have unfortunately become a thing of the past, because simply talking for a long period of time is too exhausting for him.54294429-58e7-4663-a573-6dd5ac829dd3

A fond memory she holds of Evani are long walks with him and her brother to a local candy store in India where they would buy their favorite chocolates and candies. They would walk back home while listening to him tell stories of India. As the years have progressed, this tradition has become impossible for Evani.

Seeing this debilitating disease progress so rapidly, Bhavya began to ask herself, “Why is it still so unfamiliar to people?” Bhavya has decided to honor her grandfather by making a difference.

“Never underestimate the difference you can make. Remember, even a tiny drop can make ripples,” she says.

When her Rangapravesam, an Indian classical solo dance debut, approached, she decided to make a ripple. (Bhavya has been learning an Indian Classical dance form called Kuchipudi since she’s been five. Rangapravesam is an event when the teacher introduces the student to a bigger audience. This event is a student’s solo repertoire two hours long, with a live orchestra.)

In lieu of flowers and gifts for her performance, she asked her guests to donate to the COPD Foundation through her online fundraising page on FirstGiving. She included a small pamphlet in her invitations, and also set up an information booth with COPD brochures for the 500+ attendees. This was her opportunity to spread awareness in her own way.

Bhavya’s ultimate goal is “to spread the word about this disease, so people know about it and take care of it in its early stages,” something they could not do for her grandfather.

To date, she has raised $3,428 for the COPD Foundation’s efforts to spread awareness, educate members of the community, and to one day find a cure.

You too can do your part and make your ripple. Contact the COPD Foundation to find out how you can set up your own Firstgiving fundraising page and make a difference just like Bhavya continues to do.

Please call 1-866-316-2673 or visit: www.COPDFoundation.org for more information.

What is COPD? Share Your COPD Knowledge

March 17th, 2014 | Author: Katelyn Turner

You know the stats:

  • COPD is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.
  • 24 million Americans have COPD
  • 12 million Americans remain undiagnosed
  • COPD takes 1 life every 4 minutes

We’ve taken the stats you know about COPD, and put them into an easy-to-understand video, intended to encourage individuals to get their lung health tested through our 5-question Risk Screener.

We ask that you share this video with your colleagues, friends, caregivers, spouses, family members, neighbors–anyone you think it would help. Education is key to the management and treatment of COPD.

To learn more, please visit the COPD Foundation website, or call the C.O.P.D. Information Line at (866) 316-COPD (2673).

CVS Quits: Retailer Bans Cigarettes

February 5th, 2014 | Author: Fabiana Talbot

CVS/pharmacy announced today that it will remove cigarettes and all tobacco products from its shelves in all 76,000 stores nationwide starting October 1, 2014.  Executives believe the distribution of tobacco products is inconsistent with their mission to promote health.  CVS will be the first national pharmacy chain to ban cigarette sales.

“When we asked ourselves where we expect to be in the future as a healthcare company, it became clear that removing tobacco products from our stores was the right thing to do,” CVS President and CEO Larry Merlo said in the recorded statement below.

 

The response on social media has been astounding, making #CVSquits a trending topic today.  Many individuals online celebrate the policy change, while others argue it will not impact the rate of smoking, boosting sales at other outlets.

According to statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 43.8 million people, or 19 percent of all adults, smoke cigarettes. Smoking remains the leading cause of COPD.  The COPD Foundation congratulates CVS for its commitment to health care and putting people before profits.

What do you think of the ban?  Do you think it will discourage smokers from lighting up, or prevent others from starting the habit?  Share with us below.

Phil Everly Memorial

January 7th, 2014 | Author: Katelyn Turner

 The COPD Foundation would like to express our heartfelt condolences to Patti Everly and her family on the loss of her husband, Phil Everly. We are grateful to them for extending his legacy by making a commitment to support our efforts to eradicate this disease. We are motivated by their support to continue to make progress through research to ultimately find a cure for COPD, so individuals such as Phil will not have to suffer.

Phil passed away Friday, January 3, 2014 in Burbank, Calif. at the age of 74 due to complications from COPD. The Everly family would like contributions to be made in memory of Phil to the COPD Foundation, to help us fight this terrible disease.

Photo courtesy of Patti Everly

Photo courtesy of Patti Everly

According to the LATimes.com, Phil Everly and his brother Don made up the most revered vocal duo of the rock-music era, their exquisite harmonies profoundly influencing the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Byrds and countless younger-generation rock, folk and country singers.

Phil Everly was born in Chicago, IL on January 19, 1939, but grew up in Iowa. He began singing country music with his brother in 1945 on his family’s radio show in Shenandoah, Iowa. Notable songs of the Everly Brothers was “Cathy’s Clown”, “Wake up Little Susie”, “Bye Bye Love”, “When Will I Be Loved”, and “All I Have to Do is Dream”. The Everly Brothers were inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, and were known for mixing rock ‘n’ roll music with country music. Phil Everly last performed in public in 2011, but his son Jason said he had been actively writing songs, living part of the year in Burbank and the rest in Nashville. He said his father had been in the hospital for about two weeks when he passed away. Though the COPD caused by smoking affected his health, Jason Everly said it never affected his voice. Everly married his third wife Patti (current wife) in 1999. His 2 children are from previous marriages.

The Everly family thanks you for your support in memory of their angel.

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World COPD Day: November 20, 2013

November 18th, 2013 | Author: Fabiana Talbot

We are just two days away from World COPD DayThe COPD Foundation is supporting the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) to help raise global awareness on Nov. 20, 2013.  This is a prime opportunity for our community to come together in an effort to educate the masses about a disease that affects over 200 million individuals worldwide

Here are a few ways to get involved:

1. Tell your online networks about COPD Awareness Month by using #COPDAwareness on your social media pages:

  • Imagine breathing through a straw. That’s what it is like having COPD.  Learn how to protect yourself drive4copd.org. twitter#COPDAwareness
  • COPD kills more women than breast cancer and diabetes combined. Have trouble breathing? Go to drive4copd.org today. #COPDAwareness
  • World COPD Day is 11/20 – do you know about the third leading cause of death in the US? #COPDAwareness
  • Orange is the color of the movement to end COPD. RT if you or someone you know lives with this disease. @DRIVE4COPD #COPDAwareness
  • Repost if you or someone you know lives w/ COPD. Let’s find a cure for a disease that claims a life every 4 mins. #COPDAwareness 

Participate in the COPD Twitter chat on November 19 from 1-2 pm EST. We will be joined by representatives from the American Lung Association, the Centers for Disease Control, and NHLBI’s COPD Learn More Breathe Better campaign.  Use #COPD to join the conversation!

2. Go to DRIVE4COPD.org to join the COPD community and enter the NASCAR “Wave the Green Flag” Sweepstakes. You and a friend may win a trip to the DRIVE4COPD300 race at Daytona International Speedway!

cutout3.  Request a pad of Cure 4 COPD Pinwheel cutouts that can be sold at your office, school, cafeteria, etc. for $1-$5 and hang them with the donor’s name written on it. Pinwheel cutouts covering your wall will not only raise funds needed to work on the cure, but will remind everyone it is COPD Awareness Month.

E-mail FUNdraising@copdfoundation.org to make a request for a free pad of Cure 4 COPD Pinwheel cutouts.

        Visit the COPD ACTION CENTER.  All on one website you can:

  • Become a STATE ADVOCACY CAPTAIN (it’s really easy!)
  • Send pre-written ADVOCACY LETTERS to your representatives
  • Look up CONTACT INFORMATION for your local, state, and national representatives.
  • Sign up to RECEIVE ACTION ALERTS so you know when Congress is dealing with COPD legislation.
  • EMAIL YOUR FRIENDS about the Action Center.
  • FIND LOCAL NEWSPAPERS to write to about COPD.
  • Learn more about COPD LEGISLATION.
  • Learn how to EFFECTIVELY COMMUNICATE with members with tips on scheduling meetings, writing letters, or making phone calls

Go Orange for National COPD Awareness Month!

 

COPD and Women

November 5th, 2013 | Author: Katelyn Turner

As you know, November is COPD Awareness Month–time to call attention to the third leading cause of death in the U.S. COPD is an umbrella term that describes progressive lung diseases such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, non-reversible asthma, and some forms of bronchiectasis.

For women in particular, COPD is an increasing problem.

(barnastmalistan.com)

(barnastmalistan.com)

Some stats:

  • 6.7% of adult women have COPD, compared to 5.2% of men
  • COPD killed 7,000 more women than men in 2010, the 10th consecutive year that COPD has killed more women than men
  • COPD kills more women every year than breast cancer and diabetes combined
  • Women who smoke are 13 times as likely to die from COPD
  • In 2011, there were over 492,000 hospitalizations for women with COPD

This month, the COPD Foundation has teamed up with HealthyWomen.org to spread awareness and education about this disease.

Read an editorial by COPD Foundation president and co-founder John W. Walsh on their website, discussing women and COPD.

To subscribe to their newsletter, please click here.

If you want to get involved, or host an event this month, please contact us and we can get you started! Education is the key to preventing, managing, and living with COPD—for both women and men.

Pennies for Penny

October 29th, 2013 | Author: Katelyn Turner

Nicole says her mom Penny was a fighter—someone who never let COPD get in her way.

“I never saw her suffer, or just laying in her bed. The day before my mother passed, we were watching a Browns football game together. She was wearing a Browns t-shirt and hat, and it was 14-0 [Browns were losing], fourth quarter. All she kept saying was, ‘the Browns still have a chance to win,’” Nicole recalls. “She was in such good spirits right up until her last days.”

After her mom passed away, Nicole felt as though she had to do something to honor her.

Nicole and Penny

Nicole and Penny

“My desire has always been to give back, and do something for people who had COPD. I saw how the disease took over my mother and I wanted to do something to support those [living with COPD],” Nicole says.

That’s where “Pennies for Penny” was born—out of Nicole’s desire to help others. She reached out to friends, family, and co-workers to garner feedback, and created her first fundraising tools, a Bingo game that features sayings from Penny, and a Penny trivia game. Nicole used these at her first fundraiser September 28th. She’s planning on hosting a second fundraiser, a pancake breakfast, during November—COPD Awareness Month.

In addition to hosting fundraisers, Nicole, who lives in Cleveland, OH, says she also set up a FirstGiving Page with the COPD Foundation, encouraging friends, family, co-workers, etc. to donate what they can.

“I want to do something all year-round. Cleveland Clinic is a big hospital here, and I’ve been thinking I’d eventually like to work at the pulmonary department there. I am looking to work in public health, once I complete school,” Nicole says. She’s currently majoring in business management as a local community college.

She says her mom loved to spend time with family, including Nicole’s children Butchie and Eleah, and made others so happy—so it’s nice to see others step up in memory of her.

“That’s why I want to go into public health to help people like my mom—I want to follow my vision and make it happen,” Nicole says. “I think anything starts off with a  vision. If you have the passion to do it, your vision will come to you.”

“I had no idea what to do when my mom passed. First, it was like, ‘she’s no longer here.’ After that, I thought, ‘let me do something to honor my mom,’” she says. “I miss so many things about her, but my love and compassion keeps me going.”