A century ago, Canadians gave their time and effort to help us end tuberculosis. Today, they are playing a pivotal role in helping us achieve our goal of improving lung health. We asked our volunteers why they joined our family. Here’s what they had to say:
My name is MaryAnn and I am a Stage I lung cancer survivor. When I was diagnosed in 2014, I had many doubts and fears, but thanks to my early diagnosis and health team, I was able to persevere. Because of this, I have become passionate about advocating for early screening, person-centered care, and strive to make this a reality for everyone in Canada. My work at The Lung Health Foundation has been key to reaching this goal. Since 2019, I have been involved in successful Lung Health Foundation projects like the Stop Asking the Wrong Question campaign. This was a fantastic opportunity as it gave me a platform to speak up about lung cancer and lung health. The Lung Health Foundation has helped shaped me as a leader in the advocacy community and has given me the opportunity to accomplish great things like receiving the Global Lung Cancer Coalition’s Special Recognition Award for excellence in raising awareness of lung cancer. My work here has given me meaning and a sense of accomplishment, and this has motivated me to continue to have an impact in the lung health community. I am extremely thankful to the Lung Health Foundation team for listening to my concerns and projects, elevating my ideas, and giving me the space to move forward in this distinct part of lung health.
My name is Barbara, and I was diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in 2015. It was a scary process receiving a new diagnosis and then learning how to manage my daily life. I was lucky to connect with the Lung Health Foundation at the beginning of my diagnosis. They have been a very reliable source of verifiable information. I have found answers to all those burning questions, right at my fingertips. The Lung Health Foundation (LHF) has helped me navigate the health system and my disease. I currently serve as a patient advisor for the LHF’s Primary Care Asthma and COPD Program (PCAP) advisory committee, lead and facilitate a local LHF community support group and am involved in various advocacy initiatives for LHF such as World COPD Day, video spotlights and providing the lived experience perspective, as needed. Through my involvement, I am able to give a voice to those who have been newly diagnosed with COPD, as well as those living with the disease and managing every day, like me. I’m grateful to give back and help those who are where I once was. It has been a rewarding experience to work with the Lung Health Foundation and contribute to their work.
I’m extremely proud to be part of the dynamic volunteer base of the Lung Health Foundation. It was important for me to contribute to an organization that is forward thinking, purpose driven and leaders in their field. The Lung Health Foundation is all of these things. I have the opportunity to learn from insightful people and contribute to a meaningful cause – helping people breathe easier.
Throughout my career, I have worked extensively in the respiratory space — from asthma and COPD, to smoking cessation, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, pneumococcal pneumonia and influenza. As a communicator, I have worked with organizations to raise awareness about important public lung health issues such as vaccination, tobacco control and the impact of uncontrolled asthma.
I was asked to join the Marketing Council thanks to our work together on raising awareness about the Ontario ban on smoking in cars with children under the age of 16. Smoking cessation and confronting the lack of empathy for people with lung cancer are personal passions of mine, particularly since my mother-in-law passed away from the disease in 2011. Nobody deserves to have cancer, regardless of what type. When it comes to lung cancer, Canadians deserve care, treatment, and support.