Meet Your COPD Foundation Captains!

COPD Foundation 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. If you are interested in joining our group of volunteers, click here.

If you'd like to speak with a COPD Foundation Captain directly, please email and we will connect you with the Captain in your area of interest.

Mary Ellen O’Rourke

Mary Ellen O’Rourke Profile Photo Naperville, Illinois

Greetings! My name is Mary Ellen O' Rourke . I have been happily married for 50 years to my husband, Rick. I have three married daughters and 11 grandchildren so far! I have lived in Naperville, Illinois area for 40 years.

I believe that I would be a good State Captain in Naperville because I relate well to all kinds of people and have never met a stranger. I have run discussion groups with all kinds of groups. I want to encourage people to take advantage of all the opportunities this Foundation has to offer to them with a positive outlook.

I was diagnosed with severe COPD 6 years ago, yet I never smoked! My doctors never discussed COPD with me. Fortunately, I stumbled on this COPD site and it was a godsend to me! The education on this site gives me information on types of medicines, and dealing with stress, as well as a network of COPD people who support me and each other through our journeys. I tell my family and friends about my limitations and now they are more patient with me.

I am interested in being a State Captain because I feel COPD is a silent passage for many of us. I want to share the good news that the Foundation provides. I want to encourage others with COPD to not feel alone. The COPD Foundation will empower those with COPD and their loved ones with new ways to live healthier and fuller lives. It is important for me to spread that good news about the COPD Foundation. I want to pay forward this gift to me. I am excited to be a part of such an excellent organization.


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!