Dennis Josey, a COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) survivor, who recently turned 70, became BC's oldest double lung transplant recipient. He didn't let COPD slow him down, and he sure hasn't let his lung transplant slow him down. In fact, it did quite the opposite.
"At my age, to receive a double lung transplant is nothing short of a miracle," says Dennis. "I am so grateful to my donor, my supportive family and friends, and the hard-working lung transplant medical and health professional staff that it moves me to tears. I’ve become a speaker and advocate for people living with COPD and other breathing problems. I tell them about the importance of staying active, exercising, being proactive, attending lung support groups and not isolating themselves. I have a new outlook on life and, gratefully, I have more energy and desire to help others."
Dennis approached us with the idea to create an online support group, an area where people with COPD from across the province can meet one another and share resources, advice, and encouragement. Dennis' background in community and policy development has helped turn this idea into a reality. From helping to form a medical advisory committee to reaching out to contacts to pool resources, Dennis' enthusiasm and dedication to help others has been the heart behind this project.
"I fear there is too often a lack of information provided to newly diagnosed patients of severe lung disease," continues Dennis. "It's important that information and resources are shared with everyone - especially patients in rural and remote areas where attending an in-person support group might not be a possibility."
If you or a loved one has COPD, join the online support group by searching Better Breathers: Facing COPD on Facebook and request to join, or email Carlynn at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.