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.

Laurene (Lauri) Bianchi

Laurene (Lauri) Bianchi Profile Photo River Grove, Illinois

As a State Captain for Illinois and patient advocate, I hope to accomplish with understanding and compassion for those struggling with COPD by passing on valuable information through education and resources... and fellow COPD patients who have learned from others over time, to help improve and adapt to living a better life, living with COPD.

When I was diagnosed, close to 20 years ago I had never heard of COPD and there was very little information available.

After learning about the COPD Foundation and attending pulmonary rehab a new world of knowledge opened up for me... and I wasn’t alone, as there were others just like me. And we continue to move forward since those early days of confusion.

As a COPD advocate I have participated in health fairs and community events promoting COPD awareness.

I have worked and continue to work with PPRN which is, the Patient Powered Research Network which works to one day help us all.

One of our respiratory therapists with the COPD Foundation came up with a terrific and fun way to help us practicing better breathing. We were taught to play a harmonica. It was a great idea and continues to live. I and six others played with a support group a few years ago and actually did a little traveling around to inspire others, even though we didn’t sound so great... we did inspire and had a lot of fun.

I enjoy and learn a lot in our Oxygen360 support group for those of us who use oxygen. We help each other and always learn something new from our leader who is extremely informative.

I have been in training to become a Peer Group Coach to support newly diagnosed COPD patients adjust to pulmonary rehab along with the hope they will understand how valuable exercise and learning how to be an advocate for their own health... and by learning how to help ourselves lead a fuller and purposeful life is my goal for me and others.


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!