Jean Rommes

COPD Awareness Advocate

As an amazing advocate for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) awareness, we're proud to put Jean Rommes in the spotlight!

Jean's COPD diagnosis didn't stop her from living life to its fullest, in fact, it may have given her a new lease on life.  In order to better control her symptoms and to make breathing easier, Jean exercises for at least 30 minutes each day.  She not only lost weight but has more energy and feels better overall.  To help others with COPD, Jean has been sharing her story and was even featured in a video from The New York Times that you can watch here.   

November is COPD Awareness Month and we were able to talk with Jean about some of her experiences with COPD as well as hear her advice for COPD patients and their families.  Here are some of the highlights:

  • Exercise, exercise and more exercise. Aerobic exercise of at least 30 non-stop minutes EVERY DAY (Consult your doctor for appropriate activities).
  • Learn proper breathing techniques: belly breathing and pursed lip breathing are the most important.
  • If you're prescribed O2, USE IT! 
  • Weight control and diet: get as close to your ideal body weight as you can and eat sensibly.
  • Learn about your meds. Know what effect they're supposed to have and what to do if they don't seem to be working.
  • Get a flu shot every year.

Jean can't stress the importance of exercise enough and tells us that exercise not only lets her live, it enables her to have a life. 

For more information about COPD, the American Lung Association in Iowa has a number of different resources you can turn to:

  • Join a Better Breather's Club
  •  Attend a Respiratory Rally (Next one is May 5th at the West Des Moines Marriott - more details to come!)
  • Call our Lung HelpLine - 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-548-8252) for FREE advice

And, of course, our staff is always on hand to answer any questions you may have.  Thank you, Jean, for sharing your story with us!


Read about past Volunteers in the Spotlight here.