The COPD Foundation is committed to dispelling the myths by re-defining the face of COPD. COPD does not only impact the “stereotypical patient,” usually a middle-aged white male who began smoking as a teenager. The new face of COPD, the true face of COPD, does not discriminate by race, gender or age.
In fall of 2008, the COPDF participated in the “Celebrate Life’s Moments: Share Your COPD Story” campaign with Storycorps. Events were held in four cities: Dallas, Miami, Chicago and DC. Two local individuals with COPD served as panelists who volunteered to tell their story to the crowd, alongside a local physician and the COPD Foundation president, John Walsh, who talked about the need for the community to eliminate its “shame and blame” for being diagnosed with COPD. After the workshop, participants were encouraged to sit in front of a camera and—unscripted—tell their story. We compiled over 60 videos at these events, and even took our camera to New York City to share the momentum. You can the Faces of COPD video series on our YouTube channel.
Since the launch of the campaign, more and more individuals have come forward. In early 2010, the Foundation initiated the Faces of COPD photo contest. This project allowed the community to create something meaningful for themselves and for awareness. Approximately 140 photos depicting the lives of those diagnosed or affected by COPD were submitted on our Flickr photo album. After that, we launched our blog as a way to connect the community with news updates, information, and personal stories of the everyday heroes in our community.
Last summer, we asked members of the COPD community to submit a piece of artwork—whether it was a photograph, poem or video—that described their experiences. We were deeply touched by the artist’s heartfelt submissions and enjoyed looking and reading through each one.
Our project is ongoing, so be sure to sign up for our mailing list and subscribe to our blog’s RSS feed to read the stories of those that truly make up the faces of COPD.
How will you share your story?