The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF) recently announced the expansion of the Leanne Storch Support Group Fund, designed to assist PFF in its support group experience with individuals with PF and their families and positively impact the pulmonary fibrosis community. In part through generous funding from Boehringer Ingelheim, the Fund will offer in 2015 additional and more substantial grants for those who want to establish a support group for PF or to expand services to an already existing support group.
“The PFF strongly believes that participating in a support group has a positive impact on the health and emotional wellbeing for both individuals and families living with pulmonary fibrosis,” said the PFF’s President and Chief Operating Officer Dr. Patti Tuomey in a news release. “We look forward to offering additional funding to members of the PF community who want to start new support groups, as well as further assisting established groups so that they will be able to offer more programs.”
The Leanne Storch Support Group Fund has, since its launch in 2012, helped several support groups in the United States. It has sponsored the Global Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month activities and funded educational events, namely the free, semi-annual PF clinic in San Antonio. The aim of several of these events and activities is to increase awareness concerning the disease and provide information to patients, caregivers, families and physicians in the local community. The Fund also offers assistance to the PFF Support Group Leader Network, which aims at training and providing resources to support group leaders, including a forum where leaders can discuss better practices and exchange ideas.
“The grant that we received last year from the Leanne Storch Support Group Fund was essential to restarting our group in the greater Dallas area,” said the leader of the Dallas Fort Worth Breathe Support Group Cindi Brannum. “As a PF patient myself, there was a clear need following the dissolution of our original group. The grant provided by the PFF allowed us to re-connect with the local PF community and share tips and information to help one another. The support group allows us to better manage this devastatingly complicated disease and helps us to live better.”
Pulmonary fibrosis (PF) is a severe and progressive disease that affects the lungs, causing a permanent loss of lung tissue and impairment in oxygen transfer. This lung disease is often difficult to diagnose and treat, and is associated with a high morbidity and mortality, with a survival rate usually of less than five years after the diagnosis. There is no cure for PF.