Top blog posts of 2017
The end of the year is almost upon us, so we're taking a moment to look back on some of the incredible stories we heard in 2017.
It's been an amazing year for us. We've spoken to some truly inspiring people, from marathon runners, to researchers and scientists, and of course, the inspiring people who live with their lung condition every single day. We saw taxes changed, funds raised, and introduced new support groups!
We've seen and done so much this year, we couldn't even begin to start listing it all. But we thought to celebrate, we’ve picked a handful of our favourite stories of 2017.
"Palliative care isn’t giving up – it’s an opportunity to focus on the person instead of the illness."
Elizabeth's mum was only 42 when she was diagnosed with severe COPD. Elizabeth gives an honest, moving account of supporting her mum in her journey towards the end of her life, exploring palliative care options, and one final Christmas spent together.
"It is so surprising how quickly things can change. I realised how easy it was for me to get back into shape again. And once I started, it just got easier and easier!"
Bob was a glassblower for 18 years, using his lungs daily. Then one day, he developed COPD that was so severe he was forced to go into retirement. Life was very difficult for a while. Then he discovered COPD and everything changed for the better!
"I will cherish that memory for the rest of my life."
Sarah never considered herself athletic, but after she was diagnosed with COPD, she took the plunge, joined a gym and booked some trainer sessions. After 18 months of arduous training, she ran the London Marathon to raise money for people with lung conditions - an absolutely amazing achievement.
“It’s down to the government to introduce laws to help improve air quality. It’s about motorists switching to low or zero emission vehicles and that won’t happen overnight."
It's no secret that the UK is having an air pollution crisis. For people with lung conditions, like Carole, it can be deadly. She experienced a serious exacrebation of her lung condition while out walking and nearly died. Now she's calling for urgent change to air pollution legislation.
"It's this sort of research that gives people living with a lung condition hope for the future."
One of the researchers that we fund made an amazing breakthrough earlier this year. She discovered that a cholesterol-lowering drug could improve the body's ability to fight off infection. They're exceptionally exciting results!
"I was in shock. I'm only 64 and I go to the gym every morning. IPF can affect anyone."
Amy Price, mother to Katie Price, was shocked to discover that after being told she had developed asthma, that she in fact had IPF, an incurable, progressive lung disease. She explains why we need to raise awareness of this condition, and why it's important to be direct with your doctor.
"A lot of people don’t actually know that it’s OK to get active and do exercise even when they have a problem that cause them to be breathless. That’s so important."
10% of adults and 30% of older people get breathless every day. It’s one of the most common symptoms of a long-term health problem, says Noel, who's a doctor in London. He recommends our online breath test, which is designed to help people understand if they should see a doctor by asking 10 quick questions.
"I went through a range of emotions. From being angry, to 'why me?' to, 'ok let’s do something about it'."
Before Jude was diagnosed in 2010, she worked in the fitness industry and was exercising daily. Everything changed dramatically after she developed bronchiectasis. After struggling to accept her diagnosis, she has accepted that life is no longer at 100mph, and with support from her GP, and now even has plans to climb Mount Kilimanjaro!
"I’m getting on with my life – I’m even thinking about going back to work. It’s important to think life, not death."
Mags, a doctor in her 40s, went to see a GP after developing a cough that didn't go away. After some tests, she recieved the devastating news she had mesothelioma. But she's determined not to let it get in the way of her daily life, and after responding well to chemotherapy, she's even thinking of going back to work.
"Getting out and about helps me get through winter. The exercise works on my whole body and mind, my peak flow is better after a walk."
Cold weather can be difficult when you have a lung condition, but with a bit of preparation, you can protect your lungs in the cold. Ian recommends layering up, putting a scarf over your mouth and planning ahead, which might sound like a lot of fuss, but is well worth the extra hassle - and feels much better than hibernating!