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

Bonnie Truelsen

Bonnie Truelsen Profile Photo Evanston, IL

Hello, I am a COPD Foundation State Captain from Evanston, Illinois. I am passionate about educating people with COPD to help them live life to the fullest. I also believe that most people don’t have the information they need to make good choices to manage their COPD symptoms, but I am working hard to change that.

Some of my local work has been in advocacy activities in my community and I have also signed up for research activities through the COPD Foundation’s Patient Powered Research Network (PPRN). I am also very active with volunteer work at my hospital’s Pulmonary Rehab. This is just one place where I work to achieve my goal of bringing knowledge and education not only to those living with COPD, but also their caregivers.

I try to maintain a positive outlook and see every morning as a gift to reach out and help others, in part because of my own COPD experience. My COPD was diagnosed in 2007 as Stage 4 COPD and I thought it was a death sentence.

I am beyond grateful for all those who encouraged and taught me that I could have an extraordinary life, no matter what.


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!