April 26, 2004
The Progress-Index

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Letters to the editor published April 26, 2004


To the editor:

I am a member of EFFORTS, an online support group for COPD/Emphysema patients, http://www.emphysema.net, working to improve the lot of ourselves and millions of other Americans diagnosed with some form of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). COPD is a progressive, degenerative disease that, on an individual basis, affects every part of our lives, including limiting our ability to work, sleep, and participate in social and physical activities. And on a societal basis, it is the fourth leading cause of death and disability in the United States. At present, there is no known cure. Prevention and early detection are the best weapons in the fight against it, yet they are not widely used, as awareness of its debilitating effects and its enormous social and economic costs is generally lacking.

Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Arkansas), and Reps. John Lewis (D-Georgia) and Cliff Stearns (R-Florida) are co-chairing a new caucus, the Congressional Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Caucus. It will be dedicated to furthering awareness of COPD risks and promoting policies that improve the lives of COPD patients. The Caucus will partner with a broad coalition of physician, patient, and homecare organizations to educate members of Congress on COPD and advocate policies to encourage prevention and early detection.

Please join and participate in the activities of this caucus. (Barrett Thornhill in Senator Crapo's office can be contacted for more information).


Kathy Zimoski