October 19, 2016

Cathy Freeman lends her support to change the face of lung disease this November

Lung Foundation Australia enlisted the support of iconic Australian, Cathy Freeman to encourage the nation to start thinking – and more importantly, talking – about their lung health during Lung Health Awareness Month. Cathy herself lives with a lung condition, having suffered from asthma for the last 20 years.

Cathy Freeman is the National Ambassador for Lung Foundation Australia’s Just One Breath initiative which explores what extraordinary things can be achieved with just one breath.

Cathy Freeman said, I’m proud to be working with Lung Foundation Australia to put a face to lung disease in Australia. By sharing my own story, I hope to encourage Australians to start talking about their own lung health. As an athlete, I know the importance of lung health, and I know how poor health can affect your life. I’m passionate about the lung health of Australians, particularly Indigenous Australians who are even more likely to have a lung disease.”

Lung health is the topic of conversation around Australia this November, in support of Lung Health Awareness Month.  The Lung Foundation is encouraging all Australians to take their lung health seriously and recognise symptoms early in both themselves, and loved ones.

A healthy set of lungs is fundamental to a healthy life, yet the simplest daily action – breathing – which we do about 22,000 times a day – is often taken for granted.

Cathy said, “Australian adults rarely think about the health of their lungs, but they need to. It’s time we started to take the issue a lot more seriously and I strongly believe all Australians need to do the Lung Health Checklist. I’m passionate about helping others, because I see myself in other people. I’d love to put a face to lung disease, to help change the current stigma and get people talking.”

Lung Foundation Australia CEO Heather Allan said, “We all have a picture in our mind of someone who has a lung disease, but in reality lung disease doesn’t discriminate. It affects the young, old, male, female, smokers, former-smokers, and non-smokers.”

“We want to empower everyone to recognise the risks and symptoms of potential lung disease. Early diagnosis is key to helping deliver better outcomes. We encourage everyone to take the Lung Health Checklist. It only takes a few minutes, and the simple questions will help to recognise symptoms of lung disease and the need to act promptly,” Mrs Allan said.

Lung Foundation Australia’s Lung Health Awareness Month activity includes:

  • Free lung testing at Sydney’s Martin Place, 3 November from 7:30am to 2:30pm
  • World COPD Day is 16 November and supporters will be hosting events around the country including walks, info stands, free lung function screening and other pharmacy activities
  • Shine a Light on Lung Cancer awareness events are hosted throughout November and supporters will run events including BBQ events, walks or even morning tea gatherings
  • Love Your Lungs Fun Run and Walk with Collingwood Football Club and Sunsense, taking place Sunday 27 November from 8am, at Holden Centre, Olympic Boulevarde, Melbourne. Sign up with family and friends at http://loveyourlungs.lungfoundation.com.au/fun-run-walk/
  • Patient stories at justonebreath.com.au. These videos share the poignant personal stories of John Rawlinson, Marion Walsham and Victoria Taber, as they all live and manage lung disease in their lives on a daily basis, demonstrating there is no stereotypical face of lung disease in Australia; lung disease can affect anyone.