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.

Rickie Daniels

Rickie Daniels Profile Photo Fredericksburg, Virginia

I have been a COPD patient for a number of years and was encouraged to meet with our local lung disease support group shortly after my diagnosis. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting with everyone.

As time went by our group leader became seriously ill, and she asked that I take over her job. With great reservation I picked the reins and haven’t looked back. We have monthly meetings and two socials a year. We’re always on the lookout for speakers to bring new ideas and the latest industry items to preview. My biggest hope for my members is that they will "BE THEIR OWN BEST ADVOCATE", never to sit back and wait for things to happen. My biggest worry is that patients are given oxygen tanks and sent on their way without hope, education or encouragement. Some of our meetings include representatives from our Congressional District office, leaders from our local DME providers, and RTs from the local hospitals.

My favorite saying is "Never say Never" – The year prior to COVID our hospital Navigator organized a COPD Day at the hospital. Many booths from various trades were present and our booth was in the center of it all. It was a very enjoyable day. During COVID I hosted a monthly ZOOM meeting which was great fun.

Personally, I have been an Administrative Assistant in the Navy Department for a number of years. Worked as a volunteer and paid staff for the American Red Cross. My late husband was a 30-year career Navy man who loved his job. After his retirement from the Navy we moved to Fredericksburg and bought that 5 acres in the country and moved our beloved horses to the new location. I was a founding member of the Fredericksburg Chapter of the Virginia Dressage Association. I worked many horse shows over the years – lots of dust and lots of beautiful horses. An unabashed lover of the American Morgan Horse.

Like so many individuals in my age group I started smoking very young. What a mistake that was and now we all pay dearly for it. If wishes were horses – beggars would ride for sure. I would love to address high schoolers – as of this writing, I haven’t worked up the courage to ask our local schools for that opportunity. I don’t know if it would do any good, but one less would be a success.

My proudest COPD moment was when one of my group members said to me "I feel safe with you".


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!