Fly on the wings of resilience with the Norwegian Association of Heart and Lung Patients
By John Solheim
Close to one percent of Norway’s population are members of the Norwegian heart and lung association, established in 1943.
The IPF chapter, founded in 2018, representing IPF patients and relatives is one of the national chapters of interest in addition to 250 local chapters.
Compared to many European countries, Norway is sparsely populated with its 5,4 million people. This is a challenge when communicating with a small group of patients with a rare disease spread over a large area, here the IPF chapter provides equal access to information and peer support.
The prevalence of IPF in Norway is not established, but a “guesstimate” based on anti-fibrotic medication is less than 500 patients.
We have chosen the butterfly as our token, symbolising both the shape of our lungs and the delicate but durable fabric in the beautiful creature.
As with many IPF patients’, the butterfly’s journey can also be strenuous. Spending the winters in northern Africa and returning to arctic summer retreats, flying thousands of kilometres. As with the butterfly, the IPF patients’ journey can also lead patients to be both fragile and persistent at the same time.