We need more advances in lung research
Liz is a researcher from Birmingham. She explains how the BLF has helped shape her career in lung disease research.
My first introduction to the British Lung Foundation was when I received a travel grant as a trainee. I was a junior doctor and I had no experience in research. The grant wasn’t a lot, but it was the first time I was able to go to a major international research conference. It was my first real introduction into lung disease research and it shaped my career.
Lung conditions often make you feel frustrated and helpless. There have been very few massive advances in treatments.
Treatment for pneumonia has hardly changed since 1984! It shouldn’t be that way - we just need more research.
My recent study was funded by the BLF. It looked into whether a drug called simvastatin, which lowers cholesterol, could help the body’s ability to fight against pneumonia. The results showed a reduction in deaths, hospital admissions and improvement in the immune system. It’s one of the first things to show progress in treatment for pneumonia since 1984!
Although these results are exciting to see, this was only a small study involving 32 people. We need to replicate it on a much larger scale. After that, we could shape the way people are treated for pneumonia in the future. It might even change national and international treatment guidelines.
But the research costs a lot of money. And that money is so hard to get. The UK Medical Research Council (MRC) receive a large number of strong research applications each year for all kinds of conditions. It can only fund a small number of them. So there’s real uncertainty over whether my research can even go forward. That’s why researchers like me rely heavily on charities to fund their research. I know that about a third of the BLF's funds, come from legacies.
Many people may not think about what will happen to their money when they pass away. But it can make a huge difference when it's invested in research. A gift in your will to the British Lung Foundation would provide hope to people living with a lung condition. Even the smallest amount could make a difference towards lung disease research. It could be the thing that leads to a breakthrough.
Have you thought about leaving a gift in your will to the BLF? Even 1% of your estate can make a vital difference in the fight against lung disease.