Birmingham resident raising awareness of deadly disease

Father’s death led to campaign.

Birmingham resident Matt Green, whose father passed away from the deadly lung disease idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, is blowing bubbles in support of the British Lung Foundation’s week-long campaign to raise awareness of this devastating disease.

World IPF Week (28th September–5th October 2014) is an opportunity to help raise awareness, and to campaign for more research and better treatment and support for the patients and their families. The BLF will be launching two patient videos to highlight the effects IPF has on daily life. The charity will also be launching new patient support groups among other activities throughout the week. People can follow the week on Twitter with the hashtag #IPFWeek and text ‘IPF’ to 70500 to donate £5 to help the BLF fight the growing impact of IPF on the UK’s health.

Matt has been campaigning for more awareness of this little-known disease alongside the BLF, since his father was diagnosed with IPF in 2009. Matt’s dad sadly passed away a few months ago. As well as setting himself the challenge of raising £10,000, he will also be joining other BLF supporters for World IPF Week. They will be posting pictures of themselves blowing bubbles to social media as a sign of support to all those people whose lives are affected by IPF.

IPF has been on the rise in the UK for decades, and now kills around 5,000 people a year – more than conditions such as leukaemia.1,2 However, awareness remains low, and there is no known cause or cure. As a result, the disease acts with often-devastating speed: barely half of people diagnosed with IPF are still alive three years later, and just one in five will survive five years.3

Matt Green said: “Dad fought IPF right to the end and even when he was given his prognosis of two to five years he lived with it for five years and two months. We mustn’t give up finding a cure for this horrible disease, I want my dad’s legacy to be the start of a change in life expectancy and even a cure for IPF. It’s a truly devastating disease and I will never forget my father’s struggles for breath and this makes me even more determined to beat this disease.”

Ruth Fleming, British Lung Foundation’s IPF Manager, added: “IPF patients have been neglected for far too long in this country. There are gaps in treatments and support, consistency in the quality of care and investment in research – these are all areas in urgent need of improvement. This World IPF Week is about raising awareness of this devastating disease in order to help bridge these gaps and provide support where it’s needed. With the help of people like Sally, we can make real inroads in helping save patient’s lives.”