More than 33 million Americans live with a chronic lung disease like asthma, lung cancer, pulmonary fibrosis and COPD, which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Through research, education and support programs like our online Inspire communities, we are continually working to reduce the burden of living with a lung disease. With, the American Lung Association supports several free online communities for patients and caregivers including Lung Cancer Survivors, Living with COPD, Living with Lung Disease, Living with Pulmonary Fibrosis, Caring for Pulmonary Fibrosis, and Living with Asthma. We also support Quit Now: Freedom From Smoking®, a community for people who are trying to quit tobacco.

We find it important to host these support communities because being able to speak freely with a trusted and supporting group can positively impact one's health.

"People facing lung disease or trying to quit smoking can often feel isolated," said Deb Brown, Chief Mission Officer, American Lung Association. “The support communities on Inspire provide much needed comradery and peer-to-peer guidance. The Lung Association knows the value of connecting people with others who share their experiences and that is why we are thrilled to be able to support such a wide variety of online communities.”

The Inspire communities can be accessed from mobile and desktop devices. After creating an account, members see a homepage of the latest discussion topics and are encouraged to converse with other users and share their experiences. It is this type of engagement that allows the communities to thrive.

Christina Libby, a member of the Living with Lung Disease and Living with Pulmonary Fibrosis communities, describes them as a chance to connect and share.

"I really like that I am able to connect with others who have this disease where we can share our hopes and fears," said Libby, who is also a mother and U.S. Air Force veteran.

Members can set their communication preferences on Inspire to receive a daily digest of the latest discussion topics via email. Users also have access to a journal they can share within the community, certain Inspire friends, or publically. Lastly, members can send and receive direct messages across the Inspire community.

A member of the Living with COPD who prefers to remain anonymous said, "the invisible force that is the Inspire connection changed my life. The knowledge we gain from questions we ask, from threads we read and may—or not—reply with our own specific experience(s) is invaluable, [the community] is a haven where venting, learning, sharing, encouraging another will empower you, me, all to change."

If you or a loved one are facing a lung disease or are working to quit smoking, we suggest signing up for one of our Inspire Online Support communities to start connecting with those in your shoes.

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