Patients around the world are united
PF Awareness Month 2021: EU-IPFF launching #BreathingLife Campaign
During Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF) Awareness Month in September 2021, the European Pulmonary Fibrosis Federation (EU-IPFF) wants to draw attention to PF by launching a campaign under the slogan “Breathing Life”. The campaign aims to promote facts and understanding around PF and raise awareness, besides giving hope, creating a feeling of togetherness and showing our support to PF patients, their loved ones, and their carers. Even though there is currently no known cure, in view of medical progress and developments in therapy there are good reasons for optimism.
Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF) is a progressive, irreversible, chronic lung disease causing scarring of the lung tissue with no known cure. In Europe it currently affects more than 300,000 people with over 50,000 losing their lives to PF each year. The most common type of PF is IPF (Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis), accounting for 200,000 patients in Europe. The average life expectancy following diagnosis is about three to five years, but early diagnosis and early treatment could improve this. Despite PF being such a serious disease, there is still a lack of awareness, which can result in late diagnosis, losing valuable treatment time and, above all, time to enjoy life.
PF Awareness Month using the slogan “Breathing Life” wants to draw attention to PF, its implications and the changes it brings about in daily life as well as the physical and psychological strain that the disease places on patients and their loved ones – but also to the essential moments of lightness, normalcy and happiness that patients with PF still experience despite this burden. To achieve this goal, PF Awareness Month aims to inform about diagnosis, treatment options as well as research and to call attention to the challenges and unresolved issues that still remain today. Patients are invited to share their individual stories as well as moments of happiness, ease, and normalcy, thereby creating a feeling of optimism and hope.
Steve Jones, President of EU-IPFF and PF patient: “It is vital to raise awareness of PF. More people die from pulmonary fibrosis than some well-known types of cancer, but few people have ever heard of the disease. Patients face tough challenges due to slow diagnosis and difficulties in accessing treatments and supportive care. They fight both the disease and the lack of understanding among policymakers, doctors, researchers and the public. It is vital we do all we can to raise awareness of this cruel disease affecting so many European families and to encourage people to go and see their doctor at the first symptoms since early diagnosis and early treatment lead to better outcomes.”
Ron Flewett, spokesperson of the Pulmonary Fibrosis Trust and diagnosed with IPF in 2014: “I always look forward to PF Awareness Month as it gives me the opportunity and platform to raise much awareness of this awful disease. My goal is to give it the same status as of other life limiting diseases.”
A unique visual specifically developed for the campaign demonstrates the vulnerability of the lungs and – at the same time – conveys a message of hope. The abstract representation of the human lungs visualizes the scarring of the lung tissue, with natural elements such as flowers and leaves symbolizing the concepts of “life” and “breathing”.
The hashtags #PFMonth and #BreathingLife will be used throughout the campaign, aiming at uniting the PF community.
The European Pulmonary Fibrosis Federation (EU-IPFF)
Through its 22 member organisations from all over Europe who unite their voices, share experience and knowledge and communicate about Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF) care and treatment on a national level, the European Pulmonary Fibrosis Federation (EU-IPFF) creates impact and exerts influence on how individual countries handle the disease. We serve as the trusted resource for a united PF patient voice by raising awareness, providing disease education, advancing care, and promoting research.
For further information please visit the website www.eu-ipff.org/awareness or contact: Randi Krogsgaard, EU-IPFF Secretariat, Randi.Krogsgaard@eu-ipff.org