John Linnell resides in Wisconsin and has served on the COPD Patient Advisory Committee since January 2021. He is involved in a wide array of COPD patient advocacy and research initiatives with organizations such as the COPD Foundation, US COPD Coalition, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Medicine, the University of Illinois, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, and more.
John’s lung disease journey began in late 2005 when he was diagnosed with COPD during a routine wellness check and subsequent follow-up with a pulmonologist. He thought the symptoms he was experiencing - his shortness of breath and lack of energy that had begun years earlier - were simply just part of the aging process. He was advised to quit smoking but was not given any assistance or resources. In late 2011, he had to leave the workforce.
At that time, there were many COPD challenges John had to learn to navigate, such as how to obtain medications, medical treatment and an oxygen concentrator upon being unemployed and no longer having medical insurance. His own experiences overcoming these obstacles give him important insight into the daily challenges that so many individuals living with COPD face.
He initially got connected to the American Lung Association through attending a local Better Breathers Club meeting. He found it to be a great way to connect with others like him.
In his free time, John loves to cook and try out exciting new recipes. He also enjoys going on cruises and is even a home-based travel advisor. John is grateful to lead a life of service and to promote research. As he tells others with COPD, “this isn’t the end of anything, but simply a new chapter.”