At The Lung Association, we know what’s like for people to struggle to take a deep breath, or even their next breath. That anxious, panicked feeling when there just isn’t enough air. Did you know it has a name? It’s called “air hunger.” If you’ve ever had the wind knocked out of you, you may remember it. We are working every day to stop that feeling.
There are millions of unsung heroes—one out of every five, in fact—across this country who struggle to breathe every day. We support their journey and salute their patience. And we want you to meet Alex Pangman, one of the not-so-unsung fighters. Alex was born with cystic fibrosis that reduced her lung capacity to about one quarter. A double lung transplant gave her back her breathy, jazzy voice.
In the end, for Alex and so many others, it’s about breathing breakthroughs. Maybe that term doesn’t mean much to you now. We plan to change that by the end of Lung Month.
Breathing breakthroughs are the raison d’etre of Breathing as One, The Lung Association’s fundraising campaign for lung research. Breathing as One is changing the way we look at lung health in Canada. It brings patients, researchers, and donors together to breathe new life into lung research. It’s a way to mentor and connect researchers, spark new avenues and approaches, and seek out practical ways to share the knowledge that is gained.
Put another way, Breathing as One is about:
Money: We need to be able to support exceptional researchers with ongoing funding that takes them into new, uncharted areas of integrated, multidisciplinary investigation;
Mentorship: Not only must we build research capacity by attracting promising young minds into the field, we have a responsibility to partner the next generation of scientists with the most knowledgeable and inspiring advisors; and
Meaning: We need to take all of this learning into the real world by converting research into concrete guidelines, practices and treatments, designs and policy.
Only then will we start to breathe a sigh of relief as we move toward a world without lung disease. Help us create breathing breakthroughs by learning, sharing, and donating. Start now by telling us your vision for a breathing breakthrough. If you don’t have one, let us—and people like Alex—inspire you.
There are so many ways for us to breathe as one. Just as our lungs work in tandem, we need to work together as a nation to tackle the common challenges of breathing. Because when you can’t breathe, nothing else matters.