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.
My proudest moment is when I helped a patient who had waited almost two years, to obtain a portable oxygen concentrator at no cost. His life which had been constructed changed and he was able to participate in family events and enroll in pulmonary rehab.
My inspiration to share is a woman in her 70s who participated in the clinical trial as a Peer Mentor. While living with COPD and heart disease, she traveled alone on Amtrak, a 14 hour trip, with oxygen, a walker, inhalers and a suitcase to attend a family wedding in the Midwest and then make the return trip home. Her courage and determination were truly inspiring to me.