Support group needed to help patients with lung disease in Camrose, Alberta

CAMROSE, ALTA. — Joan Branscombe doesn’t want patients who are coping with debilitating lung diseases to feel like they are all alone.

Joan and Alfred Branscombe

Joan and Alfred Branscombe

“Coping with a lung illness is not an easy road for a loved one and for their caregivers –– you sometimes feel like you are walking on a tightrope,” said Branscombe who is taking care of her 83-year-old husband, Alfred –– a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patient in Kingman, a small hamlet 26 km north of Camrose.

The Lung Association, Alberta & NWT (“TLA”) is looking for others, like the Branscombes, to kick-start a support group in Camrose, along with encouraging residents to take a simple breathing test during Community Registration Night Thursday (tomorrow) at the Camrose Field House (4516 54 St.) as part of its Powered By Breathing campaign generously supported by Nicorette and Nicoderm.

Branscombe says a support group would help her share their experiences with other patients “so others don’t feel like they are all alone.” It would also help caregivers on how to better support patients as they learn from others in the support group, she said.

“My husband and I know what it is like to be all alone when it comes to dealing with lung disease” said Branscombe. “Just to be with other people is really important for those patients.”

This year TLA is celebrating its 75th anniversary with its Powered By Breathing campaign. The campaign hopes to screen 75,000 Albertans for early diagnosis of lung illnesses –– like COPD. Early detection is important as doctors can use better treatments to reduce symptoms as well as preventing the illness from getting any worse.

More Canadian women have died from COPD than breast cancer since 2009, according to figures from Statistics Canada. COPD is also the fourth leading cause of death worldwide.

Volunteers with TLA at Community Registration Night in Camrose will also ask residents “what they would do if they could breathe better” to spread awareness about lung disease as part of the campaign.

Since 1939, TLA has been the primary information source for lung health. The organization continues to raise funds for critical research and patient support programs and advocates for changes in public policy.

What would you do if you could breathe better? Let us know by tweeting us using the hashtag #PoweredByBreathing, sending a Facebook message, emailing or by filling your answer below!


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