Meet Your State Advocacy Captains!

State Captains are volunteers with COPD, caregivers, friends and family members or healthcare providers who use their contacts and talents and partner with the COPD Foundation to serve as state and community leaders.

Captains promote the importance of becoming a part of the COPD community. They work to spread COPD awareness in their state and local areas, mentor fellow COPD community members, and participate in online and in-person grassroots advocacy and community building activities focused on health policy issues that are important to those who have COPD. To learn more about becoming a state captain in your area please email

Lauri Bianchi

Lauri Bianchi Profile Photo River Grove, Illinois

As the newest patient advocate and State Captain for Illinois, I hope to accomplish helping along with understanding for those who are suffering with this difficult and isolating disease. More of these patients should be offered the support of others who have COPD, to share education, breathing techniques, exercise, nutrition, etc. So many patients after being diagnosed are given no additional information. There are many reasons rehab isn't offered or accepted, but I believe we should be getting the answers to those questions.

As a COPD advocate I have participated in health fairs or community events to promote COPD awareness, signed up for COPD360Social, and I am a member of a support group. I also have participated in COPD research opportunities such as the COPD PPRN.

As a State Captain I am interested in connecting others in the COPD community to the resources available so they can live healthier, fuller lives, in working with state, local, and national officials to improve COPD policy, and participating and promoting research opportunities to help find a cure. I would also like to write about COPD to share my story and help raise awareness.

My proudest COPD moment is that I am not alone with this disease...because I had never heard of COPD. And even though it's been almost fourteen years since my diagnoses, I'm sure there are others who still haven't heard of it...and yet I'm proud to know this is beginning to improve.

My inspiration to share is, “Dear God, please help me to treat everyone, including myself with respect, love and dignity” -Mantra of John Mahoney


COPD Foundation State Captain Program Informational Video

The COPD Foundation is looking for new State Captains to join our community to be champions for promoting COPD awareness, improving quality of life for those with COPD, to participate in research opportunities, policy, and much more. Email for questions and to start the onboarding process today!