BreathWorks - A Legacy of Hope Left to The Lung Association

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BreathWorks - A Legacy of Hope Left to The Lung Association

Help is now œat the fingertips for people with COPD
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

SASKATOON, December 10--As Peter Gzowski struggled for breath he bravely recorded a message for all Canadians to help create awareness of COPD and the Lung Association's BreathWorks Program TM.

BreathWorks, a disease management program for people suffering with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) was launched today in Saskatoon. The new national Lung Association program is the first of its kind in North America; the BreathWorks Helpline for Western Canada will be hosted at the Lung Association office in Saskatoon.  It is designed to help people with COPD manage the disease and get control of their lives.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease currently affects more than 750,000 in Canada, which translates into 25,000 people in Saskatchewan, and that number is growing, particularly in women, says Dr. Darcy Marciniuk, holder of the Lung Association “ COPD Professorship at the University of Saskatchewan.

The two most commonly known diseases of COPD are emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Often under-diagnosed, COPD causes the airways of the lungs to become obstructed or blocked making it difficult to breathe. Some people liken this to breathing through a straw. There is no cure for COPD. It kills one person in Canada every hour, 24 people every day. That means, in Saskatchewan we lose one person each and every day.

Through BreathWorks, COPD sufferers get the support and practical information they need to stay as healthy as possible and to live their lives to the fullest, states Dr. Brian Graham, CEO and President of The Lung Association of Saskatchewan.

COPD is a disease that robs people of their ability to manage daily living, says Jan Haffner, Vice President of Health Initiatives with the Lung Association and COPD Educator. Simple things such as interactions with family members, climbing stairs, walking, working, preparing a meal or participation in community activities and hobbies are serious challenges. Giving up smoking is the most effective first step to prevent the progression of the disease.

BreathWorks is supported by a promotional television campaign. The public service announcement offered to television stations across Canada features former broadcaster, commentator and author Peter Gzowski who died as a result of COPD. Peter graciously offered to lend his personal support to the Lung Association's COPD activities just before his death in January 2002, says Haffner. His words remind us that smoking is the primary cause of COPD. The 60-second segment features Mr. Gzowski acknowledging how the damaging effects of smoking were not well understood in the 1940's when many Canadians now afflicted with COPD first became addicted to nicotine.

BreathWorks was developed with the input of health care professionals, COPD patients and their families from across Canada. BreathWorks combines the resources of trained COPD educators available through a national Helpline, 1-866-717-COPD(2673) and online access to information through

For more information contact:

Stella Spanos (306) 343-9511 or 1-800-667-LUNG(5864) or

Page Last Updated: 04/12/2017