Greetings! My name is Mary Ellen O' Rourke . I have been happily married for 50 years to my husband, Rick. I have three married daughters and 11 grandchildren so far! I have lived in Naperville, Illinois area for 40 years.
I believe that I would be a good State Captain in Naperville because I relate well to all kinds of people and have never met a stranger. I have run discussion groups with all kinds of groups. I want to encourage people to take advantage of all the opportunities this Foundation has to offer to them with a positive outlook.
I was diagnosed with severe COPD 6 years ago, yet I never smoked! My doctors never discussed COPD with me. Fortunately, I stumbled on this COPD site and it was a godsend to me! The education on this site gives me information on types of medicines, and dealing with stress, as well as a network of COPD people who support me and each other through our journeys. I tell my family and friends about my limitations and now they are more patient with me.
I am interested in being a State Captain because I feel COPD is a silent passage for many of us. I want to share the good news that the Foundation provides. I want to encourage others with COPD to not feel alone. The COPD Foundation will empower those with COPD and their loved ones with new ways to live healthier and fuller lives. It is important for me to spread that good news about the COPD Foundation. I want to pay forward this gift to me. I am excited to be a part of such an excellent organization.
Dr. Tabatha Dragonberry has been a respiratory therapist for over 15 years. She is a passionate educator teaching patients, students, and respiratory care professionals. Currently, she is an assistant professor at UT Health San Antonio and the Director of Online Education for the Degree Advancement Programs. She has worked in various environments including neonatal/pediatrics, adult critical and acute care, home care, and leadership.
As a State Captain for Texas, she wants to help educate and empower those with COPD and their families to live their fullest lives possible!
Her favorite quote is, “Save a life – you are a hero; Save 100 lives – you are an RT”- unknown
I'm Sheryl and am a COPD Foundation State Captain from Iowa. As a captain I hope to raise awareness and have fundraisers that will help with the prevention of COPD, and more importantly in finding a cure.
My main passion for being a captain is to let people know that stopping smoking, beginning to exercise, and eating healthy will help to give them a longer and more productive life. Also, keeping the most positive attitude possible will definitely help you accomplish those three things. I don't think most patients hear that those things will help their breathing and lives until later. Once they have progressed to that point it's really hard and they just don't have the energy to do them. However, I'm a firm believer that it is never too late to start.
I want you to know that I live with COPD, and spent some time being very sick -even to the point of nearly dying. But by quitting smoking, exercising, and eating healthy I have brought myself back from near death to an active and productive life. My goal is to accomplish important things in order to make the lives of COPD patients as easy as possible.
My name is Skyler Hughes. I am the COPD/Sepsis Clinical Program Specialist at Owensboro Health Regional Hospital. I am a registered nurse and have worked with COPD patients in multiple settings including the emergency department, case management and home health care and as a leader of our inpatient COPD program. I enjoy educating and serving patients to provide them with the knowledge and resources they need to live a fulfilling life. Outside of work, I am a wife, step-mom to an amazing growing boy, and fur-momma to a rambunctious dog and cat. My family is my biggest blessing in life. I love to spend time with friends and I am a huge fan of classic country music.
As State Captain, I believe there is no limit to the value of the voice of the COPD patient and that the care the patient receives should not be limited by geography, race, or income. I am most interested in advocacy and education. My goals as an Ohio state captain are to help people with COPD cope with a diagnosis, learn how to care for themselves, and help their loved ones understand the COPD patient's journey and enjoy a full life.
As a State Captain, I aim to be a driver of change within my local, state, and national communities. I am most interested in helping people living with COPD access resources available to them so they can live healthier, fuller lives. I believe raising awareness of COPD by participating in advocacy on the state and national levels is very important. I am always ready to lend a compassionate ear via COPD360social.
My proudest COPD moment was joining the COPD Foundation as Ohio State Captain. It’s the decision to act and move the cause forward that is most inspiring as is the power of the human spirit to persevere, improve, and care about others more than themselves.
My motto is short, sweet, and stolen from my dear husband, David: "You answer to the name you call yourself." Call yourself a volunteer - and you help others. Call yourself active - and you get on the treadmill. Call yourself happy - and you are grateful every day.
As a licensed clinical social worker, I recently completed2+ years working on a clinical trial for COPD patients and caregivers about the role of peer support in the management of COPD.
I hope to participate in research activities as a State Captain and connect others in the COPD community with the resources necessary to lead healthier and fuller lives.
I would also like to focus on issues that are important to caregivers, as they have separate and unique challenges to learn about the condition, to advocate for their loved one, and to take an important role in assisting health care professionals.
Fond du Lac,
Let me introduce myself to you. My name is Patricia Billeb - I prefer people calling me Pat. I am a wife, mother and grandmother. I was diagnosed with COPD in 2011. I think I had an inkling that I had it, however, I was in denial until I was hospitalized. Here's the kicker - I quit smoking a week before I was diagnosed. Probably couldn't take another breath.
I had an excellent pulmonologist with a very caring nurse. I got stable and went through Pulmonary Rehab and embraced it with open arms. Through Rehab I was given copies of the Pulmonary Paper magazine and started googling everything. I got connected with a group known as EFFORTS. I was a regular member of the "walkers" window. One of the friends I made was Jean Rommes - she was holding a Lung Expo in Des Moines and I went. I was so excited about the Lung Expo - the Efforts group that my Pulmonary Rehab counselor asked if I would represent Efforts as a COPD booth. I have done that for the last four years. Last year I took along PPRN handouts to the WISCHPR Conference and have been asked to bring COPD Foundation information with handouts in 2018 - which will be held in Oshkosh.
I lost my favorite Aunt and my Godmother to COPD. She suffered quietly for years without telling a soul about COPD. I want people to know it is ok to tell your loved ones and at the end of the day they don’t need to be embarrassed about their condition. I want people to know that their family will accept them for who they are and support them. Simply put, families help each other.
After becoming aware of COPD, I became interested in knowing more and investigating how I could help. As a State Captain I hope to make calls to state and federal officials on behalf of patients and caregivers, raise awareness by participating in health fairs and community events and host and participate in fundraisers to support my community and the COPD Foundation.
Hello, I am Amanda Smith and I am happy to be a State Captain for the state of Kentucky. I was diagnosed with COPD in 2017 and want to help others who have been impacted by COPD.
I know what it is like to live with COPD and have taken an active role in my health by being informed, educating myself, and participating in programs like Pulmonary Rehab.
My motto in life is: Stop, take a deep breath in, be thankful. I would share those words with anyone who is living with COPD or who has a loved one with COPD. There is so much you can do to live life to its fullest.
I am Lorrie Williams, State Captain in Mississippi. I live in Southern Mississippi and know firsthand what it is like to live with the challenges of living with COPD in the heat, humidity, and hurricanes. My diagnosis with COPD happened in 2017 and I found myself with a diagnosis I knew very little about. I felt desperate for answers and found the COPD Foundation was just what I was looking for.
One thing I am good at is being a wonderful encourager and I am dedicated to helping other people find the answers they are looking for about living well with COPD. I am eager to advocate and help raise awareness for COPD in her community.
I am a former caregiver to my wife who passed away from COPD. After she died I have been working tirelessly on behalf of the COPD Foundation, talking about COPD with anyone and everyone who will listen.
I have obtained donations to the COPD Foundation from businesses in my community like Walmart and CVS, have talked with my elected officials in Texas and recently as a part of IMPACT COPD, I spoke with several representatives in DC. I will speak with any group that would like to learn about COPD and have attended health fairs and support groups to disseminate information about COPD.
As a State Captain hope to continue my advocacy and fundraising work to help influence COPD policy and increase the public’s awareness about COPD.
My proudest moments are my advocacy work with my elected officials, which I do in honor of my wife, who is also my inspiration.
I have been a respiratory therapist for 15 years. I have worked hospital critical care and now am working with people using respiratory devices in their homes. I love helping people.
As a State Captain I hope to be of service by participating and promoting research opportunities to help find a cure , working with state, local, and national officials to improve COPD policy , connecting others in the COPD community to the resources available so they can live healthier, fuller lives, recruiting new State Captains and volunteers ,raising awareness by participating in health fairs and community events, hosting and participating in fundraisers to support my community, and writing about COPD to share my story and raise awareness.
I hope to raise the level of awareness that COPD does not have to be a life ender. If you take care of yourself, you can live better even with COPD.