Author Archives: Samuel Kirton

Why I Created an IPF Dictionary After My Diagnosis

Dictionaries play many roles in our lives. In early childhood, we use a dictionary to associate pictures with words. In early education, we learn to use a dictionary to define unfamiliar words and look for alternative meanings. In the computer age, we create spreadsheets with data dictionaries. Dictionaries fill in…

Identifying and Avoiding False Health Claims

Internet scams are widespread and can infiltrate every aspect of our digital presence. The prevalence of online dating scams, for instance, was recently highlighted in the trending Netflix documentary “The Tinder Swindler.” Scams have become particularly rampant in rare disease communities, and are spreading rapidly via social media platforms,…

Ensuring No One Is Underserved Along Roads Less Traveled

The availability and quality of healthcare patients receive is often based on where they live and what they can afford. This is especially true for those among us with a rare disease. That’s what health equity is all about. It belongs under the umbrella term “social justice,” which encompasses a…

Celebrating Our Caregivers

During the course of having idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) or any other rare disease, the role of the caregiver requires a large measure of patience, an ability to multitask, and the capability to pivot without knowing what lies ahead. Caregivers, whether working alone or as part of a team,…

Turning Pandemic Negatives Into Positives

I’ve found myself daydreaming lately about a return to normal. I long for the days when we didn’t need face masks, when I could see someone’s smile during a conversation, and when hand sanitizer wasn’t the most frequent smell I encountered. Most people who know me would describe me as…