Finding Victory in the Fight Against Lung Disease

(January 4, 2013)

Corey and Nicole holiday ticketsDecember 9th, 2012 was a special day for Corey Bowie and Nicole Cooper, both who have been diagnosed with lung disease. In a giveaway for COPD Awareness Month, Corey and Nicole were the lucky recipients of tickets to see the Redskins and Ravens battle it out in this regional rivalry.

The American Lung Association in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia worked with Quality DME to raise awareness for COPD Awareness Month and lung disease and, thanks to Quality DME, those with lung disease were able to submit stories of their experiences for a chance to attend the Redskins-Ravens game. Corey, Nicole and two of their guests sat on the 40 yard line to watch this exciting game.

Corey was diagnosed with asthma around the time of his first birthday when he was admitted to the intensive care unit at Children's National Medical Center and since this time, he has had several additional hospitalizations as well as recurrent pneumonia. Despite the setbacks, he has remained positive and is living the life of an active, 9-year old boy. "He's very active and doesn't allow his asthma to prevent him from doing the things he loves including baseball, riding his bike, running, and most of all football," said Corey's grandmother, Kathi. Corey's love for football spurred his grandmother to enter him in to the COPD Awareness Month giveaway and he was thrilled to learn that he had won and would be attending his very first NFL game. Corey is no stranger to the Redskins either.  In fact, the Redskins are Corey's favorite team and he is a member of a flag football team appropriately named the Redskins.  Corey, who plays quarterback, helped to lead his team to a victory in the NFL Flag Football Super Bowl - Rookie Division in November 2012. Corey is a testament that asthma can be controlled with the right preventive and maintenance practices and the strength and determination of a 9-year old boy.

Strength and determination have not escaped Nicole either. Nicole was diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension in November 2009 and with the diagnosis came the news that she only had 6 months to live. Two weeks later, Nicole required emergency surgery and after a difficult operating experience was informed she had one week to live.  Nicole was determined to continue living and beat the one week deadline. It has not been easy though. Over the next 2 years, she was hospitalized 12 times and in December 2011 underwent Pulmonary Thromboendarterectomy (PTE) surgery. When asked about her experience, Nicole says, "I have faced so many challenges with Pulmonary Hypertension, but I'm always hopeful for a cure. To be privileged to attend a game, means my prayer was heard for my wish to come true."

Up to 24 million Americans show impaired lung function, which is common among those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the third leading cause of death in the United States. Coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing and chest tightness are all common symptoms that those with lung disease experience and which can make it difficult to take part in normal day to day activities, like attending a football game. Corey and Nicole aren't letting lung disease hold them back though. They are inspirations to those living with lung disease and a reminder to us all to live life to its fullest.

Corey at Redskins game

 

 Nicole at the Redskins game