Slow Suffocation: Increasing Public Awareness of Pulmonary Fibrosis

Imagine becoming out of breath talking on the phone. Imagine yourself no longer able to walk at a leisurely pace without getting winded. Imagine considering climbing the stairs to the second floor of your home to go to bed for the evening as large a task as a marathon! These are just a few examples of what the lives are like of those diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF). Therefore, the purpose of this petition is to request your support to help increase public awareness the disease known as Pulmonary Fibrosis, to aide funding research of this disease, with the ultimate goal being to find a cure.
PULMONARY FIBROSIS - an illness that currently affects more than 200,000 people in the United States. Approximately 40,000 of our citizens die from it each year: This is the same amount as those who die from breast cancer. It is more than those who die from ovarian or prostate cancer; it is forty times more that those who die from Cystic Fibrosis.

At this time there is no cure for Pulmonary Fibrosis and death usually occurs 2-4 years after diagnosis. The cause of death is usually respiratory failure as a result of increased scarring of the air sacs in the lungs, interfering with the person's ability to transfer oxygen to the bloodstream. The age of onset for the disease is between 40 and 70, although in recent years, individuals of a younger age have been affected.

Your signatures will be sent to our Senators and Representatives to lobby for several changes and increases, starting with requests for them to vote to increase the budget of the National Institute of Health. In the past monies allocated to the NIH have resulted in biomedical breakthroughs that have more than repaid our investments in this institute.

They will also be asked to write a letter to the National Institute of Health asking them to increase their funding for research in lung diseases. Lung disease is currently the third leading cause of death in the United States. While the rate of deaths for heart disease and cancer (numbers 1 and 2) have been decreasing, the mortality rate for lung disease has been on the rise.

We will also be requesting a letter be sent to the Director of the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute asking that they increase funding for research on Pulmonary Fibrosis. Pulmonary Fibrosis is currently the most under-funded of all the lung diseases.

Further, a letter to the Center for Disease Control asking that they put out a position paper on Pulmonary Fibrosis will be requested. Pulmonary Fibrosis is frequently misdiagnosed as Asthma, Emphysema or one of the various strains of Pneumonias. Most Internists and many Pulmonologists are unfamiliar with the disease and are unable to either diagnose or effectively treat the illness. Early diagnosis and treatment significantly increases the life expectancy of the victims of this disease.
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