Since 2006, Walter Huebert has been involved with the BC Lung Association. Whether he’s sharing lung health information at a senior’s symposium, visiting Penticton golf courses to fundraise with the Golf Privilege Club Membership Book, or sitting on our Executive Board of Directors, Walter’s dedicated his compassion and drive to help British Columbians strive for better lung health. We recently sat down with Walter to learn more.
How did you first hear about the BC Lung Association?
A long time ago, I used to receive the BC Lung Association’s Christmas Seals in the mail. I recognized the Cross of Lorraine symbol on them, but didn’t give it much thought. Years later when I was working as a school trustee, I was approached by a fellow school trustee, Richie Gage. At the time, he was the President of the Board of Directors for the BC Lung Association and asked if I would be interested in getting involved.
How did you know it was the right fit for you?
I attended an annual meeting in Vancouver that first year. I was amazed by the sincerity of everyone, and the concern these people had for others living with lung disease. It was obvious that everyone really cared for people – so of course I was interested in being involved with that!
Is there a specific lung health concern impacting your community of Penticton?
In the last couple of years, Penticton has been hit hard by forest fires. The smoke has been really tough for people, especially those with pre-existing health conditions and seniors. I know a lot of people can’t leave their homes in the summer, and they keep all their windows and doors shut to keep as much smoke out as possible.
Are there any recommendations you would give to people impacted by the smoke?
I think the most important thing is education. While as a society we need to look at prevention and assistance for when forest fires are happening, on a community level I think education around how to take care of your lung health and when to stay indoors is instrumental.
Any other lung health concerns you often hear?
We have a large seniors’ population in Penticton, so we tend to have high rates of COPD and asthma. Besides the education and support I can help provide these people, it’s important to explain all the research into these lung diseases that the BC Lung Association invests in. BC Lung Association’s emphasis on research is one of the things I’m most proud of.
If people want to support the BC Lung Association or get involved, what can they do?
You can buy a Golf Privilege Club Membership Book. These are great in Penticton because so many of the golf courses included in the book are near us. Buying a book means you’re donating to a great cause, while saving on golf course fees. I also help promote the Christmas Seals Campaign – you might have seen the banner hanging around town. Lastly, there’s fun events that you can participate in. The next event coming up is the Bicycle Trek, happening on September 8 and 9 in Vancouver. Donating to the BC Lung Association means investing in people’s lives – not only helping people currently living with lung disease but investing in your children’s and grandchildren’s health.