Real Stories from Real Patients Coping with Lung Disease

NICK JONES

1989 – At 50 years old Nick experienced shortness of breath and had heart attack #1
1996 – Diagnosed with COPD and had heart attack #2. Decided to STOP SMOKING.
1997 – Enrolled in Martial Arts and Tai Chi
2001 – Went on supplemental oxygen
2002 – Founded the Villages Airheads Support Group

Nick’s support group is going strong to this day!
For 19 years he lived with COPD. 
We believe Nick won the battle!
As Nick always said, “Today’s a great day to Breathe Strong!”

Breathe Strong Honors Nick Jones 1935-2015: The Father of Breathe Strong

KAREN DEITEMEYER

1991 – At 45 years old Karen experienced shortness of breath
1992 – Diagnosed with Emphysema and decided to STOP SMOKING
2003 – Diagnosed with COPD and started on Oxygen 24/7
2007 – Started Pulmonary Rehab and learned breathing techniques
2008 – Became a Patient Advocate
2015 – Joined a Breathing Club
2021 – For the past 30 years Karen has lived with COPD and still going strong!

We believe Karen is winning the COPD BATTLE!

Start your battle plan…Today!

BOB SOBKOWIAK

As a respiratory therapist of 40 years, Bob didn’t always feel like he could personally identify with his lung health patients.
In the past year he went from a diabetic who could sort of relate to people with COPD, to someone with a heart attack and subsequently major cardiac surgery.
He then had symptoms of shortness of breath that he couldn’t attribute to his heart issues.
 Bob made the decision to empower himself, and sought another cardiologist for a second option.
This doctor found something on his chest and thus saved his life. He was diagnosed with lung cancer and malignant melanoma. So he is now a lung patient, too.

Bob is now on the course to recovery, because he empowered himself to seek out a second opinion, and was directed on to the right path for healing.

MARY ERICKSON

Mary had no breathing issues in childhood or adulthood.
She developed a cough around the age of 68, which she ignored.
Students in her classes knew what to do when she stepped into the hall for a coughing fit.
At 70, she was diagnosed with reactive lung disease and interstitial pulmonary fibrosis.
She no longer has symptoms of reactive lung disease.
She participated in a hospital-based pulmonary rehab for several years gaining invaluable skill, knowledge, and companionship.
Mary retired at 74 and participates in Marilyn Klingler’s pulmonary rehab zoom support group.

PAT FRENCH

Childhood – Pat had asthma as a child, which progressed into severe allergies for the remainder of her life.
1964 – Started smoking and continued to do so through college and the rest of her working life.
2007 – Diagnosed with COPD
2009 – Hospitalized for 45 days and then confined to a rehab center. Decided to QUIT SMOKING.
Given 6 months to live, Pat determined that only she could be in charge of her life. She went home and admitted herself to outpatient private rehab.
2017 – Moved to Florida and joined a support group
2019 – Attended Active Pulmonary Rehab
2020 – President of Villages Airhead Pulmonary Support Group

Products and Services to Help You Breathe Strong

Respirtech
Zephyr Valve
Home Rehabilitation Network
PF Warriors
OxiMedical
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Breathe Strong America Authors and Contributors


Marilyn Klingler, RN

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Scott Conard, MD

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Jane Martin, CRT

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Gloria Bailey, BSRT

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