PULMONARY FIBROSIS AWARENESS MONTH
During September, Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month makes a concentrated effort toward spreading knowledge, increasing activities, support, and funding for those affected by this life-altering disease.
Pulmonary fibrosis (PF) is a group of devastating lung diseases that cause scarring in the lungs. The scarring limits the oxygen intake necessary for the brain, heart and other organs to function.
Symptoms include a dry, hacking cough and shortness of breath. Patients are often misdiagnosed. PF affects over 200,000 Americans. Fifty-thousand new cases are diagnosed each year.
While there is no cure, research is underway. The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF) national registry, the PFF Patient Registry, has reached its target enrollment of 2,000 patients from across the country. Data in the Registry will be used in studies that will lead to a better understanding of how to diagnose, treat and eventually cure the disease.
Awareness of pulmonary fibrosis is on the rise. From Broadway to the gridiron, members of the PF community everywhere are stepping up to battle the disease. Some notable examples of people working toward finding a cure include actress and comedienne, Julie Halston, who hosts the best of Broadway in “Broadway Belts for PFF!” annually in New York City. Performers pay tribute to Michael Kuchwara, former theatre critic for the Associated Press, who passed away from the disease in 2010.
In addition, Chicago Bears running back, Jordan Howard, joined the fight against PF in 2016 by becoming a spokesperson for the Foundation and launching fundraising initiatives. Howard’s father, Reginald B. “Doc” Howard, succumbed to pulmonary fibrosis at age 52 when Jordan was only 12 years old.
HOW TO OBSERVE
You can celebrate PF Awareness Month by:
- Going blue for pulmonary fibrosis. Show your support of those living with PF by sharing a selfie while wearing blue clothes, painted nails or even blue hair. Post your selfie on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtags #BlueUp4PF and #PFAwarenessMonth. Be sure to tag @PFFORG in your posts.
- Participate in the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation’s inaugural PFF Walk on Saturday, September 15, in Chicago’s Lincoln Park or on Sunday, October 14 at National Harbor in Washington DC. Build a team, walk individually, volunteer or donate to help support research in the fight against the disease. If you’re unable to make it in person, join forces with others in your community and register for the virtual walk. You can log your miles in a park near your house on a day that’s convenient for you!
- Host a fundraiser to support the mission and programs of the PFF. Host a blue bake sale, blue jeans day at work, athletic event or trivia night.
Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month was established by the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation in 2012 to unite the pulmonary fibrosis community and to raise awareness and funds for a cure for this deadly disease.
The Registrar at National Day Calendar proclaimed Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month to be observed every September beginning in 2017.
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