The COPD Information Line: Here for You!

September 1st, 2010 | Author: Katelyn Turner

“It’s just really great, being able to talk to people – especially people newly diagnosed – and some of them are really down and out, and being able to talk about what COPD is and my experiences, I just really like doing that,” Maria Loss says. “I like reassuring people and supporting them.”

Loss is one of 50 volunteers who work on the COPD Information Line. The Information Line was established in 2004 and serves as a invaluable resource of information for members of the COPD community.

She has been working on the Info Line for 2.5 years, and says over the years she’s been able to help many people who call the line looking for information, advice and answers.

Maria Loss

“Some people have called and they’re so grateful and thank you so much for taking the time to talk to them and spend time with them. They feel like a million dollars, and to me, that is so rewarding,” Loss says.

“People that call are sometimes crying or on the verge of tears, and you can gently talk with them and get them out of that,” she says. “You turn it around and tell them ‘It’s going to be okay, you’re going to make it through this bad time.’”

Loss, who has Alpha-1, says it helps her to work on the Info Line since she is a positive person to begin with.

“I look for the positive in everything – it’s there. You have to be positive with this disease,” she says. “We all get down, everyone does. But you have to try to bring yourself back up as quickly as you can.”

She encourages COPDers to call the Info Line anytime, because all of the volunteers have COPD, and can share experiences.

Judy Lopez is also a volunteer on the COPD Information Line, and has been for the past two years. 

“I like to talk to people about COPD. Not a lot of people are fortunate like I am to have a support group [the Better Breathers support group],” she says. “The whole thing is about educating people about the disease and learning that none of us are alike.”

Lopez says some callers who she talks to have just found out they have COPD, and are devastated.

Judy Lopez

“I work with two ladies [via the phone] and we have become very good friends. We’ve probably told each other things that our own families don’t know,” she says.

Lopez says although COPD can be frightening at times, she is glad she found the COPD Information Line.

“God chose this path for me, and I have met some of the best, most wonderful group of people,” she says. “We’re very close-knit and they’re just amazing.”

Lopez says she wants everyone in the COPD community to spread the word about the Info Line.

“We have resources on lots of issues (such as) oxygen supplies, clinics and medications,” she says. “

Any and all COPDers are welcome to volunteer for the Information Line!

Call the C.O.P.D. Information Line toll free at 1-866-316-COPD (2673).  Please call Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM (EST).

Leave a comment