I am a COPD advocate because I know so many who suffer from this disease could have a much better quality of life if we could only reach them. Almost everyone has, or knows someone who suffers from COPD, yet it is not talked about like so many other diseases. The paradigm need to change, and I want to help change it.
As State Captain I hope to change the perception that their isn’t much that can be done to change the quality of life for someone that has COPD.
My proudest COPD moment happened with a patient I had been caring for with severe COPD named John. When I first started caring for him, he was so short of breath and weak it was difficult for him to even get out of bed. We worked extensively on breathing retraining, pulmonary rehab, relaxation techniques, and disease education. My proudest COPD moment was when John stopped by to visit several weeks after he had discharged home. We were walking down the hall together. He had his portable oxygen concentrator over his shoulder and was laughing at me, because he was walking so quickly, I was struggling to keep up. It struck me at that moment that the work we do for these patients really do have the ability to change their entire lives dramatically.
My advocacy work includes, starting a free yearly COPD community educational conference for patients, families, and caregivers.
My inspirational to share, “what lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us” -Ralph Waldo Emerson