MaryAnn Bradley © Courtesy of Lung Health Foundation
By Tawny Barratt
As we enter the holiday season and then move into what mental health experts suggest may be the darkest months of the year (January and February), support for those struggling with lung disease is critical.
During this time, the Lung Health Foundation will continue to provide programs and services at no charge for those diagnosed with lung disease, those currently living with their diagnosis, and for life afterwards.
MaryAnn, a lung cancer survivor, was shocked when she received her lung cancer diagnosis, but her approach to her diagnosis became straightforward. She wanted to learn as much as she possibly could about her disease, her treatment options, her prognosis and what her quality of life could look like. She spent time on the website at www.lunghealth.ca, and the more she learned, the more empowered MaryAnn became—to the point that she found purpose in her diagnosis. As her confidence built, she discovered that she could talk about what it was like to be diagnosed with lung cancer, the stigma associated with it, and the insensitive questions that she would be asked after revealing that she had lung cancer.
Over time, Lung Health Foundation has provided MaryAnn with a platform to talk to others about her lived experience.
“The programs and services at the Lung Health Foundation encourages those of us with lung disease the opportunity to empower each other, giving us the confidence to take control of our own patient journey,” MaryAnn said.
For other patients, there are other areas of support available at www.lunghealth.ca. The Lung Health Support Line and online chat option is available free of charge, Monday to Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET and is monitored by two highly qualified Certified Respiratory Educators. People with lung disease can have their confidential questions answered as they continue to navigate the uncertainty of their diagnosis.
Lung Health Foundation’s virtual support groups are also available at no cost and are held monthly throughout the year. Two support groups are available—one to support those living with lung disease and another for caregivers, who often need their own support group as caring for a loved one with lung disease can be both draining and emotional.
The support groups help participants understand that they’re not alone and that lung disease does not discriminate. Through support groups, stigmas and stereotypes surrounding lung disease can be addressed and dismantled.
The Lung Health Foundation’s website and online learning centre are available 24/7, with downloadable resources like digital toolkits and action plans. It’s an empowering first step for those wanting to begin their lung health journey by learning as much as they can about their diagnosis before moving on to other areas of support.
With the support of generous donors and funders, the Lung Health Foundation will continue to operate its programs year-round as they expand its services across Canada.
Your donation will help the 30,000 Canadians that will be diagnosed this year with lung cancer, the one million Canadians living with COPD without knowing it, and the 850,000 Canadian children living with asthma.
Lung Health Starts Now—and begins with you.
To make your holiday donation today, please visit the Lung Health Foundation’s website at www.lunghealth.ca/globegifts
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The Lung Health Foundation is dedicated to ending gaps in the prevention, diagnosis, and care of lung disease in Canada. We invest in the future by driving groundbreaking research, and we give patients and their families the programs and support they need today