Funding for lung disease | PostIndependent.com

Funding for lung disease

Jim Nelson
Living Well

I am honored to report that Mary and I have been invited to speak at an international COPD conference in London in October of this year. We will be talking about our journey as patient, caregiver and lung transplant recipient. We will also touch on the terrible lack of awareness of lung disease, which leads to under-diagnosis, lack of legislation favoring lung patients, and difficulty in obtaining funding for COPD research.

It is obvious that COPD is not one of the “glamorous” diseases. Due to the resistance of patients to wear their oxygen cannulas in public, due to shame or embarrassment or just plain laziness, lung disease is highly invisible. If a legislator never sees anyone with obvious breathing difficulties, if we remain silent about the disease that is the third largest killer in the United States, the fight for funding will remain difficult.

In 2013, the money spent by the National Institute of Health for research per patient for Breast Cancer was $3,401. The amount spent per patient for HIV/AIDS was $2,818.

The amount spent per patient for COPD was $8.

Unless and until we make ourselves known, raise the awareness of COPD, the funding level will remain pathetic.

— Jim Nelson is a former Glenwood Springs resident who works with regional and national cardiovascular and lung organizations.


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