COPD Foundation Establishes JW Walsh Memorial Fund

March 22, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. - March 22, 2017 - The COPD Foundation is proud to announce the establishment of the JW Walsh Fund to Cure COPD in honor of our late founder and director emeritus, John W. Walsh. John recently passed away on March 7, 2017. The memorial fund was created as a way to honor John’s commitment to the mission of the Foundation which strives to find a cure for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the third leading cause of death within the United States.

John’s family has requested that donations in his memory be made to the JW Walsh Fund to Cure COPD, which will be administered by the Foundation.

John’s voice changed the way research studies are designed and executed, the way industry views the patient voice, and even changed the way patients are integrated into medical education. John dedicated much of his life to his commitment to speeding the development of new therapies and a cure for COPD. The COPD Foundation remains strongly committed to furthering John’s passion to engage, educate, and empower patients, helping to improve their lives as it searches for a cure.

“As an advocate, as a friend, and as a visionary he was simply indefatigable,” says Craig Kephart, the Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer, “I can think of no better way to honor him and this fund will carry on his legacy.”

John often referred to himself as the “impatient patient”—and his overarching influence on research, care delivery, and community education reflected that ceaseless drive. In 2004, he formed the COPD Foundation, gathering together a dedicated team, and over the ensuing years developed programs to prevent COPD, improve the lives of those affected, and seek a cure. John’s ability to mobilize partnerships was unmatched.

Through his initiatives, the Foundation’s work engaged in research to better understand the disease, educating patients and providers on how to improve care delivery and quality of life, and empowered a vibrant community for all affected. Programs developed under John’s leadership were far-reaching, covering all facets of a uniquely patient-centered approach. That approach is now recognized as being revolutionary.

“In his youth, John W. Walsh was an actual warrior,” says Grace Anne Dorney Koppel, COPD Foundation’s President, “The tenacity and courage he brought to his years in the military served him throughout his life. They were tempered by the enthusiasm and optimism he brought to every challenge, the inspiration he provided to every fellow COPD patient. John’s real legacy is the spark he created in all of us that we must nurture. He led us by example. The torch has been passed for us to continue as warriors for COPD.”

As befits his stature in the global community, John’s memory has been accorded the rare honor of an obituary in The New York Times. The JW Walsh Fund to Cure COPD ensures that memory will live on, continuing to uplift lives while never forgetting the ultimate goal of searching for a cure for COPD.