A blast from the past at The Lung Association, Alberta & NWT

 

This year marks the 75th anniversary of The Lung Association, Alberta & NWT (“TLA”).

Over the next few weeks you will see vintage PSAs posted — like the video posted above — as a way to help us celebrate this milestone.

Help us celebrate by donating today. If you donate before Oct. 15, you have a chance to win one of three vacation packages that will take your breath away — pun intended.

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.

Meanwhile, if you are in the Fort McMurray region from Sept. 19 to 21, visit our booth at the Fort McMurray Fall Fair and Trade Show.

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 carol@ab.lung.ca or by filling your answer below!

 

Alberta Health Minister Fred Horne congratulates The Lung Association, Alberta & NWT as it celebrates its 75th anniversary

 

Here’s another greeting from Alberta’s government.

During the annual Premier’s K-Days Breakfast July 17, Health Minister Fred Horne says The Lung Association, Alberta & NWT has “made a difference in the lives of Albertans” during its 75-year history.

We still want to hear from those who have volunteered with us throughout TLA’s 75-year history — whether you were involved in an event like StairClimb for Clean Air, or involved with TLA’s board. Share with us your stories about why you became involved with TLA by filling out the form below!

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

Premier Dave Hancock says ‘happy 75th’ to The Lung Association, Alberta & NWT

 

It might be the dog days of summer, but that hasn’t stopped staff, volunteers and supporters from celebrating an important milestone at The Lung Association, Alberta & NWT (“TLA”).

During the annual Premier K-Day’s Breakfast July 17, Premier Dave Hancock gave a warm “happy birthday” to TLA as it continues to celebrate its 75th anniversary.

We still want to hear from those who have volunteered with us throughout TLA’s 75-year history — whether you were involved in an event like StairClimb for Clean Air, or involved with TLA’s board. Share with us your stories about why you became involved with TLA by filling out the form below!

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

Alberta mom fully recovered after ‘miracle’ double-lung transplant surgery

 

It was just a routine gallbladder surgery for Edmonton’s Brenda Kinnear. However, it was that surgery that changed her life forever.

The mother of two boys in their late 20s and early 30s left hospital after that surgery on oxygen. A few days later, doctors warned her that she had end-stage idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

In November 2002, she was put on a double-lung transplant list and she waited for five years, but doctors had a hard time finding a match for the mother, a four-foot-11 woman who was in her 50s.Brenda Kinnear

As she needed a set of lungs that were from a 12-year-old child, her two sons — Darryl and Shannon Kinnear — offered to each donate part of their lungs to help their mother.

“Our sons spoke to the doctors and surgeons and basically told them that they were going to be my donors,” said the mother who also had offers from her husband to donate part of his lungs, along with two other relatives.

“Their mindset was that Mom needed Dad sitting beside her — not lying beside her. The also chose which side they wanted to donate. Daryl — being the oldest — asked which side is first; the right. He is my right lobe. Shannon wanted to be closest to my heart. He is my left lobe. Remember — I am not getting a full set of lungs — just lobes.”

It has been close to 10 years since the surgery and the mother says she can now breathe easier.

“If you had asked anyone who knew me 10 years ago if I’d ever be able to travel outside of Edmonton, let alone Canada, they would have laughed at you,” said Brenda Kinnear.

“So if you see me out and about, feel free to talk to me about transplants. If I’m hunched over trying to catch my breathe, just wait a few moments then I’m back and ready to go again. My husband and I love to talk about my miracle. “

Stay tuned to PoweredByBreathing.com in the next few weeks ahead to learn more about this amazing family.

Let us know what you would do if you could breathe better? Share your stories with us! 

Clean Air Strategic Alliance celebrates 20 years in Alberta

The Lung Association, Alberta & NWT (TLA) isn’t the only Alberta-based organization celebrating a milestone in 2014.

The Clean Air Strategic Alliance (CASA) is celebrating its 20th anniversary in Alberta and TLA was a founding member.

CASA is an alliance made up of stakeholders from industry, non-government organizations, government officials and other environmental interest groups.

Sitting at the table with the policy-makers, ensures that the health of Albertans is looked after through strategies that make a difference.

TLA is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.

For more information about CASE, check out the alliance’s website!

Alberta woman looking forward to gardening again after double-lung transplant surgery

Joanne Cormier, a double-lung transplant recipient from Willingdon, Alta., says her life has already changed for the better.

It has only been a couple of weeks since her complicated, life-saving surgery, but Cormier says she is relieved that she no longer has a large bottle of oxygen attached to her 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

“I feel great — I feel 100 per cent better than I did before,”said Cormier who battled with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) for four years leading up to her surgery in April 28, 2014.

COPD is an illness that slowly damages a patient’s airways — breathing tubes that carry air in and out of their lungs. The illness makes causes those airways to swell along with causing mucus to block those airways. COPD also damages tiny air sacs at the tips of those airways, which makes breathing extremely difficult.

The mother of two says her illness was caused after working as a waitress and bartender in a second-hand smoke-filled bar for more than 30 years.

Now, after her life-saving surgery, Cormier says she is grateful. She can now breathe easier.

“There are no words to describe my thankfulness (to the lung donor’s family),”said Cormier.

“What do you say to someone for that great of a gift? A thank you is just not enough.”

Cormier, who is still recovering in hospital after the surgery, says she is looking forward to playing darts again — something that she couldn’t do before the surgery — along with doing some gardening.

“I haven’t been able to do that in the past few years, so that kind of bothered me,”she said.

“I am hoping to have some kind of summer left when I get out of (the hospital).”

Since lung transplant patients have to spend long months before, during, and after their surgeries in Edmonton — including those who come from outside of Alberta’s capital city, like Cormier — the Lung Association, Alberta & NWT (TLA) offers some financial support to those patients and their caregivers.

That financial support is paid for by TLA’s generous supporters.

“I was given a $1,000 grant, and (TLA) gave me $600 to help pay for my rent in outpatient residence, and I was given $200 in food and $200 in gas so I can get back and forth,”said Cormier.

“This took a weight off my shoulders.”

To learn more about TLA’s Second Breath program, click here.