Central Alberta rodeo community rallies together to raise funds for COPD research

 

A group of local barrel racers have helped raise $6,500 for lung health research to remember a passionate rodeo volunteer who gave so much to the sport.

Lyle Norn, a volunteer at Ponoka Stampede grounds, died in February from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) at the age of 67.

Lyle Norn

Lyle Norn

In order to remember the well-like volunteer, his granddaughter and a few of her friends and family started a barrel racing series to raise funds for The Lung Association, Alberta & NWT (“TLA”).

The group held the first ever Lyle Norn Memorial Barrel Race Series race on May 14 and held the event every Wednesday at in Ponoka for six straight weeks.

Money raised through door prizes and concession sales during each race will help pay for vital research programs that could help find a cure or a new treatment for lung diseases like COPD — an illness that has killed more Canadian women than breast cancer since 2009.

“During our races, he was always there to help — he was always our tractor guy (during every barrel race). He would drop anything to come and help you,” said Norn’s granddaughter, Kaylee Jo Henkelman, a barrel racer in Ponoka.

“He was such a family man and he supported young kids who were all involved in the rodeo.”

Shayna Dodds, another organizer for the event, says barrel racers in the community wanted to also raise awareness about COPD.

“So many people here came together to honour a man so lived and recognized both in the rodeo community and here in his hometown,” said Dodds.

Henkleman says the local barrel racing community will make the Lyle Norn Memorial Barrel Racing Series an annual tradition every spring.

“We are so thankful for the local barrel racing community to raise these funds that will be used to help advance research into lung disease because we are all powered by breathing,” said Kathleen Badry, TLA’s development coordinator.

“This is such a great tribute to a beloved grandfather who gave so much to central Alberta’s rodeo community.”

Looking for ways to raise money for important lung health research programs or support programs offered by TLA? Click here to learn more about how you can hold your own fundraiser in your community?

Edmonton resident wins Fresh Air Photo contest, organized by London Drugs and The Lung Association

What a shot!

Chris Ha, an outdoor-enthusiast who lives in Edmonton, was just watering his plants in his living room as the sun was shining through his front window.

“I thought, with the water on the plant, that it looked really beautiful, so I decided to take some pictures,” said Ha.

“I could have spent three hours shooting that photo.”

After looking at the pictures on his computer, Ha realized he had a prize-winning, photographic work of art.

Knowing his photo was stunning, Ha took part in the 2014 Fresh Air Photo Contest — an annual summer event organized by The Lung Association and London Drugs to challenge Western Canadian photographers to show off their breathtaking shots. Since Ha won top prize for his amazing photo, he won a Nikkon D5300 prize pack, courtesy of London Drugs.

“This is so unbelievable,” said Ha. “I love outdoor photography.” “Thank you to the Lung Association and London Drugs for this amazing contest.”

Are you ‘powered by breathing?’ Tour continues across the province of Alberta

After touring a handful of communities and cities across the province, we have already heard from you, our supporters and patients, on what you would do if you could breathe better.

The following is a handful of those tweets!:

We have had a busy few months offering free breathing tests to hundreds of Albertans in communities — including Lethbridge, Camrose, and Fort McMurray. The tour is all part of The Lung Association, Alberta & NWT’s (“TLA”) Powered By Breathing campaign — sponsored by Nicorette and Nicoderm.

TLA was also in the small, central-Alberta town of Tofield this summer as dozens of volunteer firefighters helped raise money for important research and support programs offered by TLA.

Check out these tweets from those communities that we visited!:

The Powered By Breathing campaign is still far from over. TLA is still hoping to screen 75,000 Albertans this year for early diagnosis of lung illnesses — like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (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.

You can find TLA staff and volunteers at the Women’s Show in Edmonton Oct. 18 and 19 at the Edmonton Expo Centre or the Women’s Show in Calgary on Oct. 25 and 26 at BMO Centre in Stampede Park.

For residents in Lethbridge, you can also find us at the Alberta Sleep Forum at the Lethbridge Lodge Hotel & Conference Centre on Oct. 22.

Tell us what you would do if you could breathe better? Leave a comment below this post!

Support group needed to help patients with lung disease in Wood Buffalo region

Cindy Petipas, a 57-year-old on a list for a double-lung transplant, doesn’t want other patients like her to feel like they are all alone.

Cindy Petipas

Cindy Petipas

Petipas, who was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in 2006, believes patients like her are in need of a patient support group to share information and learn from other patients’ experiences.

“I need something like this and I know Fort McMurray needs something like this,” said Petipas. “A patient support group is a wonderful thing that should be here.”

The Lung Association, Alberta & NWT (“TLA”) is looking for others like Petipas to kick-start a patient support group in the Wood Buffalo region, along with encouraging residents to take a simple breathing test during the Fort McMurray Fall Show & Market this weekend. It’s all part of TLA’s Powered By Breathing campaign generously supported by Nicorette and Nicoderm.

Petipas says a support group would help her share their experiences with other patients “so others don’t feel like they are all alone.”

“People who don’t know about this illness — or don’t have this illness — don’t understand what you are going through,” said Petipas.

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 during the Fall Show and Market 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 leaving a comment below, or tweet us at @lungabnwt, using the hashtag #PoweredByBreathing.

For more information about TLA, check out its website.

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!

 

University of Calgary’s Dr. Mark Giembycz is ‘powered by breathing’

 

Important work is continuing in Dr. Mark Giembycz’s lab at the University of Calgary.

Giembycz is studying how drugs that are currently available — or potentially new drugs — can help treat asthma, an illness that is the leading cause of emergency room visits for children in Alberta and Canada.

He is also studying how those drugs will also benefit patients who are suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), along with other lung diseases. His work is also being financially supported by those who have generously donated to The Lung Association, Alberta & NWT (“TLA”).

“It may seem kind of bizarre, but even though drug companies make drugs and are effective for certain individuals, many of the drugs seem to work without us understanding the mechanizm,” said Giembycz.

“What we do is try to pin down how these drugs actually work in hopes that we could make those new drugs better drugs in the future.”

Without the funding from charities like TLA, Giembycz said his team would face extreme challenges in finding improved treatments for lung diseases like COPD and asthma.

“Funding for research across the board is difficult to get, despite having very important questions to ask or more problems to actually solve,” said the Calgary-based lung health researcher.

“Some of the research would suffer without The Lung Association.”

Donate today to support other important research projects like Giembycz’s work. Click here to donate today!

Support group launched to help patients with lung disease in Red Deer, Alberta

Mac Dunbar (SUPPLIED PHOTO)

Mac Dunbar

Mac Dunbar, a 70-year-old retired chemical engineer, believes he would not have access to the help he needs for his debilitating lung illness if it wasn’t for a new support group that was kick started by The Lung Association, Alberta & NWT (“TLA”).

Dunbar, who was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in 2004, has taken part in the new support group weekly in Red Deer. The Lung Association hopes to locate others in need of support and encourages residents to take a simple breathing test SATURDAY (Aug. 23) at the Red Deer Market as part of TLA’s Powered By Breathing campaign, generously sponsored by Nicorette and Nicoderm.

“When you have a debilitating disease, you really need to talk to somebody who is in the same boat as you to get some idea of what form (this illness) could take,” said Dunbar who admits he is in the early stages of COPD, a long-term lung disease that slowly damages a patient’s airways making it harder to breathe.

“Up until this support group was created, I didn’t really know anybody else who had diagnosed lung issues.”

Dunbar says having a handful of “kindred-spirits” around him can help him learn from other patients’ experiences and their difficulties.

“That is an amazing part of a support group,” said Dunbar.

This year, TLA is celebrating its 75th anniversary with its Powered By Breathing campaign. The campaign hopes to screen 75,000 Albertans for early detection 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.

“Anybody who has an issue with their lung health needs to be treated — early detection is important,” said Dunbar.

Mac Dunbar

Mac Dunbar

Volunteers with TLA at the farmers’ market at 4751 43 St. in Red Deer will also ask shoppers “what they would do if they could breathe better” to spread awareness about lung disease as part of the campaign.

Dunbar says he would walk and not take a golf cart during a round of golf and would love to snorkel while he is on a Mexican vacation – only if he was able to breathe better.

“I couldn’t get more than 10-feet away from shore because I couldn’t breathe,” said Dunbar while describing one vacation he had in Mexico. “I would love to be able to go snorkeling again.”

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!