IPF kills 5,000 every year – but you’ve never heard of it
Ruth is determined to make a difference for people with this rare lung disease.
We don’t know what causes IPF. It kills around 5,000 people every year and there’s no cure. Around 32,500 people across the UK have it and approximately 7,800 people are diagnosed with it each year.
Half of all people diagnosed with IPF die within 3 years.
People with IPF (which stands for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis) have scarred lungs, which are thick and hard. This makes it hard to breathe.
You and I might take breathing for granted, but people with IPF tell me that they feel out of breath all the time. Eventually, they will 'die of suffocation'.
Falling off a cliff
Knowing this must be so difficult. Yet I am in awe at the strength people show in the face of such adversity.
One incredible man called David said, “My condition worsened, like falling off a cliff. I know that I am a dying man. But not yet matey – try again next week.”
And Ron has even managed to take on a triathlon. He had to walk instead of run, struggled in the water, and a lack of oxygen forced him to end his bike ride early. But he was determined to finish and is a huge inspiration.
When Joyce found out she had IPF, nobody could tell her what it meant.
“Doctors admitted that even they didn’t know much about IPF. It’s like being hit by lightning and so life-changing that I find it difficult to recognise who I am”.
We’ll never give up
We’re working really hard to make sure more is done to help fight this terrible disease.
We’ve put together loads of free information, run regular support groups across the country and special events where people can learn about IPF from the experts.
We’re making sure IPF is a priority for politicians by launching our special report in parliament and setting out our plan for what government needs to do.
And our research will help find new treatments and cures, and stop people getting IPF in the first place.
We’re making great progress, but there’s still a long way to go. We will never give up.
What is IPF?
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a lung condition that scars your lungs and reduces the efficiency of your breathing.
Support for IPF
We've got support and advice for those who've been diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).