We have to stop people going through what I've been through
We're very sad that Peter Phillips passed away from IPF on 7 February 2018. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones. Donate in his memory.
Peter had IPF. He explained why we need more research and education about the disease
In 2014, I was diagnosed with IPF. It was an absolute catastrophe.
IPF, or idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, is an incurable condition that causes progressive scarring of the lungs.
I've worked with shoes my whole life. When I was young, I worked in shoe factories. I was co-owner and company chairman of Jones the Bootmaker, a successful chain of shoe shops in the UK.
I was in good health
I was in relatively good health and looking forward to retirement. But I started having trouble with my breathing, so went to the doctors. I had a biopsy, but it didn't show anything. Eventually, I was referred to a specialist and finally got the correct diagnosis. It was a diagnosis that changed my life.
I've never smoked and lived a healthy lifestyle. Now, I struggle to walk up a flight of stairs.
Before, I enjoyed travel. Now I'm wary of going on holiday because I feel too much of a burden.
I imagined seeing my grandchildren grow up
I always imagined being able to see my grandchildren grow up, but now I'm aware that I probably won't be able to.
I spend my life searching for the reason I've caught IPF. I think back to the shoe factories I worked in when I was younger and wonder if something there caused it. But there's no way of knowing, no one knows what causes IPF.
We need more research
That's why we need more money to fund research into this disease. The only way we'll make progress is if we know more about the disease, what causes it, and how to treat it.
The team of people caring for me have been absolutely phenomenal. But doctors and nurses need to be educated about the disease, so people can get the correct diagnosis as soon as possible.
It is so vital that this illness gets recognised. It's a desperate need.
We have to stop people going through what I've been through. It's not right.
If you've been moved by Peter's story, help support our IPF research by donating today.