Lung disease has impacted my life in many ways. My grandmother developed COPD after smoking for many years and working in a cardboard box factory. I would sit with her while she did her breathing treatments and watch her be tethered to her oxygen. She eventually developed lung cancer and died at the age of 84.
My father also has COPD from smoking and has had lung cancer, too. He had a tumor removed about six years ago but has now developed mouth cancer as well. They are who inspired me to become a respiratory therapist over 30 years ago. Since then I have been married to someone with asthma and our daughter also has asthma.
I have been involved with lung disease either professionally or personally for many years and am truly an advocate for education, prevention and finding a way to eradicate lung disease altogether.