Canadian Lung Association Blog

Blog Archives

Meet Volunteer Anne Kennedy Mitchell

Anne Kennedy Mitchell and Darcy Murdoch - NVW2017

Anne is the volunteer president of our Lung Association Better Breathers support group in New Westminster (also known as the New Westminster Puffers’ Club). During the week, Anne manages a dental clinic. In her spare time, she finds it rewarding to be of help to others, like herself, who often feel isolated and alone in coping with a chronic breathing problem. Anne has struggled with respiratory illness all her life. “I was eleven years old when I was diagnosed with asthma. It became progressively worse over time and in 2008, I was diagnosed with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease),” she

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Posted in Asthma, COPD, Lung Health, Stories, volunteer

Meet Volunteer Ken Fisher

Ken Fisher and Gina Walton - NVW2017

When Ken retired in 2002, he found himself having trouble breathing. His doctor sent him to a COPD support group – which turned out to be the Langley BC Better Breathers group, run by the BC Lung Association. For the past 9 years, Ken’s been the volunteer leader of the group, which consists of a monthly support group with an invited guest speaker, and two exercise groups, each running 3 times per week. The goal of Better Breathers Groups are to help patients coping with chronic lung conditions (such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, and lung cancer) as well as their caregivers,

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Posted in COPD, Lung Health, Stories, volunteer

When quitting runs in the family: Darlene & Verla

“I was very young when I started and addicted before I even grew into a woman.” – Darlene Bjork In families where smoking is prevalent, it can be difficult to break the cycle of addiction. Darlene and Verla know this all too well, as both have struggled to quit at different times in their lives. When we first met Darlene (right), she was ready to give up on her most recent quit attempt of one week. Cigarettes had formed an incredible hold on her after smoking for 45 years, and because it was publicly accepted, she’d never found the motivation

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Posted in COPD, QuitNow, Smoking & Tobacco, Stories

Lung Association of Saskatchewan Lifetime Achievement Award – 2016

Ms. Pat Smith (right), Chair of the Lung Association of Saskatchewan volunteer board, presents the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Darcy Marciniuk at the Respirology State of the Art Conference, Saskatoon,
May 28, 2016.

We are very pleased to announce that the Lung Association of Saskatchewan has conferred its highest award on Dr. Darcy Marciniuk of Saskatoon. The Lifetime Achievement Award recognises 25 years of outstanding service by Dr. Marciniuk to improving respiratory health in Saskatchewan. Darcy Marciniuk was born, raised and educated in Saskatchewan. After receiving an MD from the University of Saskatchewan, he attended the University of Western Ontario for specialty training in Internal Medicine and he completed his sub-specialty Respirology training at the University of Manitoba. He returned to Saskatchewan in 1990 and joined the Respiratory Division where his career in

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Posted in COPD, Events

5 minutes with Dr. Don Sin


What is the focus of your research? My research interests include finding new solutions to reduce the growing burden of COPD and new therapies to treat COPD-related co-morbidities such as cardiovascular disease. COPD is the fourth-leading cause of death in Canada and the number-one cause of hospital admissions.  On average, patients remain in hospital for 10 days at a cost of $10,000 per patient, with the total amount cost of such hospitalizations estimated to be more than $2 billion. And yet, despite being one of the most common lung diseases, COPD frequently remains undetected due to inadequate diagnostic tools. Part

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Posted in COPD, Research

Red hair, red scooter, a real attitude, and COPD. Meet Trish Verrier.

Trish Verrier COPD

Yesterday I met a remarkable person while visiting the COPD clinic at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver. Meet Trish Verrier. To see this vibrant 65 year old with hair as red as her scooter and a smile that lights up the room, one doesn’t detect any signs of the sadness or pain she’s endured. Nor does one hear many complaints – which says a lot considering her very serious, and sometimes scary, lung condition. I had to learn more. Trish grew up in Thunder Bay, where she had suffered neglect and abuse at the hands of her father, leaving no

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Posted in COPD, Lung Health, Stories

COPD support team gives as good as they get

Trish Verrier COPD

“I feel pretty lucky. I get to meet the most amazing people,” said respiratory nurse Beth Hutchins. Beth is one member of the St. Paul’s Hospital COPD Outreach Team, a pilot program aimed at helping COPD patients remain healthy and well at home or in their communities. “Many of our patients are living alone, without family around.  They’re vulnerable, even more so just after they’ve suffered a lung attack (an acute flare-up of COPD symptoms). So the sooner we can put home support in place, the better. Ideally this happens soon after they are released from the hospital.” The program

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Posted in COPD, Lung Health, Stories

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: The top five questions (and answers) from The Lung Association’s Lung Health Helpline


I’ve just been diagnosed with COPD. What does that mean? COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. It is largely caused by smoking, but it can also be caused by second-hand smoke, toxins in the environment that you breathe in, and genetics. COPD develops over time. In most cases, it is diagnosed in people over 40 years of age. Someone with COPD may not realize they are becoming more short of breath until it becomes very hard to do simple tasks like walking up stairs. When you have COPD, your lungs are obstructed or blocked, making

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Celebrating Canadian Women’s Achievements in Respiratory Health on International Women’s Day

Dina Brooks

March 8 is International Women’s Day and the Canadian Lung Association would like to salute all the wonderful women who have made a contribution to improving the lung health of Canadians. In particular, we celebrate the many achievements of Dr. Dina Brooks who has been recently selected by the World Confederation for Physical Therapy Executive Committee to receive an International Service Award in the area of research. This award honours individuals who have made a significant contribution to physical therapy internationally or within their region. Dr. Brooks was nominated for this award by the International Confederation of Cardiorespiratory Physical Therapists

Posted in COPD, Stories, volunteer

Cold and Flu Season

Woman Blowing Nose

If it seems like everyone around you is sick, you could be right. According to the latest Public Health Agency FluWatch report, we are reaching the peak of the flu season. Best advice: stay home when you are sick, wash your hands frequently, cover your cough or sneeze into your elbow, and stay well rested. For those with COPD or asthma, call your health care provider, certified respiratory educator, or use your action plan if your condition seems to be worsening.

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Posted in Asthma, COPD, Flu, Lung Health