Since today is World COPD Day, and November is COPD Awareness Month, we want to update you on our “Project Proclamation”!
“Project Proclamation” is aimed at reaching out to each and every state’s government to recognize the importance of increased awareness about COPD. Across the country, numerous COPD advocates have already begun to submit requests to their governors asking them to issue proclamations officially deeming November “COPD Awareness Month.”
So far we’ve had many states return their signed proclamations, but we want all 50!
These proclamations are issued by governors as educational tools to raise awareness on issues ranging from state history to public health and safety concerns.
Issuing these proclamations will draw attention to COPD from people in the state government as well as the general public. It will also show that your state governor recognizes the issues associated with COPD and the need to spread awareness. These proclamations also give some COPD advocates an opportunity to meet with their governors or other state officials.
Nick Jones, a COPDer living in Florida, did just that. He was able to meet Gov. Charlie Crist and the entire Florida cabinet on October 26th at of the ceremony signing Florida’s proclamation.
“As president of the COPD Support Group here in The Villages, Florida, I am keenly aware of the importance of educating the public concerning symptoms of COPD and what can be done to treat them,” Jones says. “With more than 24 million people having this disease in the US and half of them not even being aware that they have it, the importance of early intervention cannot be overemphasized.”
Alice Dunkley, our COPD advocate in New York, says she was diagnosed in 1984 and had lost 25 percent of her lung function. Five years later, she had lost an additional 40 percent of her lung function. With testing, she discovered she had genetic COPD, or Alpha-1 Anti-trypsin Deficiency.
“I owe my life to early detection and awareness of this rare form of COPD,” Dunkley says.
Alice submitted a request to the New York governor and received a copy of the proclamation just this week. Alice has gone even further to spread awareness and has issued a press release to her local media asking them to cover COPD Awareness Month and the New York COPD proclamation.
Do you want to become an advocate in your state and become a part of Project Proclamation? Here’s how you can help: Recruit your friends and family and visit the COPD Action Center to send the pre-written email (feel free to customize) to your governor today! If you live in a state that already has a proclamation, don’t forget to email your governor on the Action Center and thank them!
For more information, please contact Jamie Lamson, Associate Director of Public Policy, at email@example.com.
Click here to see our Flickr group of Proclamations already submitted! Submit your own photos!