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Your top 10 stories of 2015

We’re almost at the end of 2015 – and what a year it’s been!

We celebrated our 30th year of fighting against lung disease, and achieved some amazing things.

We saw laws changed, funds raised and support groups organised. Researchers and scientists continued their tireless work, as did our helpline nurses. And those living with a lung condition continued their daily fight to manage their condition.

It’s true, we’ve seen some amazing things this year. And we couldn’t have done it without you. To celebrate, we’ve picked a handful of our favourite stories of 2015.

Managing my COPD: Vanessa’s story

Vanessa walking the Great North Run

Vanessa went from being diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder and being almost unable to walk, to completing the Great North Run this year.

Read her inspiring story, and have a look at her advice for on how to manage the condition.

Thanks to our Team Breathe half marathon runners

Some of our incredible runners!

191 amazing people laced up their trainers, stretched out their muscles, then hit the ground running to raise money for us this summer. Though we can’t fully express our gratitude, we’ve tried in this story rounding up all the races our fundraisers took part in up and down the country.

Have a peek, and see photos of our hardy joggers in action.

Smoking in cars law will protect people like me

Liam Pape

Liam Pape was 12 when he handed in our petition to Downing Street. He’s been campaigning for a ban on smoking in cars for five years! Finally, on October 1, it became illegal in England and Wales to smoke in cars with children.

Read how he worked to get the law changes to get the law changed.

9 things people with lung disease want you to know

“I can do it – don’t try and stop me!”

One of our most popular posts was written by Ann. “Because we don’t always look ill, it’s difficult for those around us to know what we’re going through,” she explains.

Ann explains over nine points what it’s like living with a lung condition, illustrated helpfully (and hilariously) with these GIFs.

Sing for your lungs

Pip’s singing group in action.

Singing can give almost anyone a boost. If you’re managing a lung condition, it can be even more beneficial. It was for these reasons that Pip decided to set up a singing group specifically for people with lung conditions in West Cornwall – with tremendous success!

“Although it’s hard work at times, what makes it worthwhile is the joy and transformation in our singers,” she says.

A BLF nurse saved my life

Malcolm says he feels 20 years younger than he did last year.

Malcolm felt so bleak after he was diagnosed with COPD that he began making funeral arrangements. Then, he met with a BLF nurse who helped him turn his life around.

Today, Malcolm has lost 60lbs, and has walked a half-marathon – an incredible feat for someone who couldn’t climb the stairs only a year before.

A huge step forward in mesothelioma research

The donation will help fund our research.

This year, we received the fantastic news that two insurance companies agreed to donate a massive £1m to fund our ground breaking mesothelioma research programme.

The donation will help give hope to thousands affected by the disease, and while not the end of the problem, it’s a step in the right direction.

Plain packaging for cigarettes

Examples of what packaging might look like next year.

We celebrated a massive step forward for public health in March – parliament agreed to introduce standardised tobacco packaging in 2016.

It was a moment of real triumph for us, and our supporters, and for every young person discouraged from taking up smoking could be another life saved.

Pulmonary rehabilitation gave me a life

A pulmonary rehabilitation group.

After suffering a near-fatal asthma attack, 52-year-old Kevin found himself struggling to recovery, and everyday tasks, like getting out of bed, became a big challenge.

Discovering pulmonary rehab changed everything, from his ability, to his recovery. “The hospital team saved my life. The community team gave me a life,” he says.

COPD means I Can Only Plan Daily

Chris at home.

To help us promote awareness on World COPD Day, Chris wrote us this brutally honest yet inspiring account of what having a lung capacity of only 15% means for him.

He also explains of the permanent and long-term effects breathlessness can have not only on you, but on your family, and loved ones. It’s a very eye-opening read!

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9 February 2016