Northern Ireland - British Lung Foundation

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BLF Bulletin
The latest news from the British Lung Foundation
Autumn 2015
Raising awareness of IPF
From 5-11 October, it was IPF week and it was a busy time campaigning to
raise awareness of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Breathe Easy Causeway member Bernie Reid celebrated her 11th anniversary after
a successful heart and double lung transplant for IPF.
BE Causeway heard from five members affected by IPF and Nessie from our team
in Northern Ireland spoke about our work to raise awareness. This group also
invited Nessie to attend a cheque presentation for IPF.
On 5 October, we hosted an event at Altnagelvin hospital with the Western Trust.
Breathe Easy Derry were represented, along with people living with IPF, their
carers and the IPF respiratory team.
Looking ahead, we will launch our first IPF support group in Northern Ireland next
month on 2 November in the City of Derry hotel.
Throughout the week, pharmacist Kate McClelland in Maghaberry got in touch with
400 other pharmacies to help her raise awareness.
Find out more by emailing [email protected]
BLF Christmas cards now on SALE
Show your support this Christmas by ordering our cards for your friends and
family.
Choose from our great range of Christmas cards. From robin redbreasts to
snowman scenes, there’s something to suit everyone.
All proceeds from sales will go directly to our charitable work – leading the fight
against lung disease. Order yours today at www.blf.org.uk/christmascards or
return the order form your group should have received this month.
Don’t forget your flu jab
Flu is a highly infectious illness which spreads quickly and is much more common
in winter.
The main symptoms include fever, tiredness, headaches and a cough, and if you
already have a health condition like COPD or asthma, flu can make your usual
symptoms worse.
Having a flu jab aims to protect you against the main types of flu virus. If you have
a long-term lung condition, the NHS offers the vaccine for free. You can get the
jab through your GP, or your local area may have other NHS services which give
free flu jabs such as a local pharmacist.
Some people say they feel a bit unwell immediately after the jab, but not as ill as
having the flu itself. The vaccine does not contain live viruses, so cannot cause
flu. As with all vaccines, side effects are possible, but these are mostly mild and
it’s one of the safest vaccines in the world.
To find out more, call the helpline team on 03000 030 555
Calling for action on lung disease in parliament
On 14 July we descended on the Houses of Parliament with our latest
research, which reveals the impact of lung disease in the UK.
The report, The Fight for Breath, is our rallying call to key decision-makers. We
want to show them that we need to take action to improve the UK’s lung health.
It highlights how many people are affected by lung conditions and how the figures
vary by age, gender, region and standard of living. It also shows the strain lung
disease puts health services under.
We were delighted to welcome more than 40 MPs and lords on the day,
representing every region of the UK, as well as policy-makers, researchers and
health care professionals.
We demonstrated our new website containing all the statistics and we invited
people living with lung conditions to talk about how it affects them every day. We
wanted to show that lung disease isn’t just numbers, it affects real people in lots
of different ways.
Dr Penny Woods, our chief executive, spoke passionately saying: “Nobody should
have to live a life fighting for breath.”
You can find out more at www.blf.org.uk/statistics
My mum’s cancer made me stop smoking
Judith, a Breathe Easy group chair, explains why she chose to quit.
I was 14 when I started smoking. I believed I was safe as nobody in my family had
been diagnosed with cancer.
That all changed when I found my mum coughing up blood. I was at her bedside
when she was told she had lung cancer.
I decided there and then to stop smoking. I asked what aids were available and
was given counselling to help kick the habit. I’ve never looked back.
The sense of achievement when I breathed into a carbon monoxide detector and
the nurse could tell I hadn’t smoked was fantastic.
I was diagnosed with COPD three years ago. This was a blow, but because I no
longer smoke there’s a good chance I will live for many more years than I would
have done otherwise.
One of my pulmonary rehabilitation nurses wanted to set up a Breathe Easy
support group. I jumped at the chance to get involved.
I love the support we give each other. People tell me their stories and they can be
difficult to listen to, but it’s heartening to know the group can help. Read more:
www.blf.org.uk/blog
BLF Big Breakfast returns
There’s still time for your Breathe Easy group to get involved in the Big
Breakfast fun in November.
Last year the former Chair of BE Wrexham, Eileen Langley, organised a fantastic
community breakfast, with the local mayor popping in for a bacon butty. She’s
taking part again this year, hoping to top the amazing £488 she raised before.
It’s not just Eileen who has signed up again, we already have Breathe Easy groups
from far and wide, including Nottingham West, Ollerton and Bury, all signed up.
If you want to find out more and request your Big Breakfast pack, email
[email protected], visit www.blf.org.uk/bigbreakfast, or call us on 0207 078 7912.
Get in touch
BLF Direct
PO Box 2022, Liverpool L69 3TU
03003 030 253
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.blf.org.uk
Helpline: 03000 030 555
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