Since I am patient, I have a special interest in advocacy, along with our healthcare professionals and caregivers, though I may have a different perspective living with COPD. Twenty years of being a member of this community has had a profound effect on me. Besides being a patient myself, I have worked among some of the finest people I have ever met. They are kind, empathetic, and eager to share information that is so helpful. I am grateful to be a part of this community. My inspirations have been many, including everyone I have met and/or worked with for 20 years.
As an advocate, I have spoken publicly many times, including my first speech in front of a Senate Subcommittee hearing on behalf of Tobacco Free Kids headed by Richard Durbin, Senator from Illinois. I have attended many health fairs, educational conferences, two live radio programs, and answered (too many to count) calls from patients seeking help, support and education on the COPD Foundation Information Line. I have also participated in multiple walks around DC to speak with our legislators about COPD issues.
As a State Captain and part of the COPD Foundation advocacy team, I hope to keep reaching out. There are still so many out there that we need to educate about COPD and the issues we face as a community.
My permanent inspirational quote is from John Walsh, “Educate, Empower, and Engage.” Like John did, I also believe there will be a cure one day.