Jordan Howard, the lead rusher for the Chicago Bears football team whose father died of pulmonary fibrosis (PF), will announced his intent to be a PF advocate and supporter of efforts to better treat and cure the disease today at the 2016 Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF) Volunteer Meeting in Chicago.
Howard’s father, Dr. Reginald B. Howard, died of PF complications at age 52, after battling the disease for nine years.
“My father was an active, athletic man in the prime of his life when he was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis,” Howard, 22, said in a press release. “The diagnosis did not stop him from being a loving father and did not prevent him from helping prepare me for life and the game of football. I believe his diagnosis inspired him to enjoy life and his family even more.”
Howard began to help raise awareness and funds to fight PF in his first season with the Chicago Bears, and he is now going to participate in the inaugural NFL Cause Cleat Week – an awareness and fundraising event over the Dec. 4 weekend, in which participating players can wear modified cleats for a cause and then auction the cleats, with all proceeds benefiting a charity of their choice.
Howard is participating and has named PFF his beneficiary.
“Jordan Howard offers new hope to the community of 200,000 people fighting pulmonary fibrosis,” said Patti Tuomey, PFF’s president and chief executive officer. “We share with Jordan an unwavering commitment to find a cure for all who are affected by this disease.”
The one-day 2016 PFF Volunteer Meeting, taking place at the Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile, brings PF advocates, patients, health care professionals together to share stories and attend workshops focused on advocacy, leadership, and fundraising skills.
Information about the meeting and the PFF can be found here or through the foundation’s Patient Communication Center at 844-825-5733. PFF is also preparing for its PFF Summit 2017, a fourth biennial international healthcare conference, set for Nov. 9–11, 2017.