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According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the first step to breathing better is learning more about COPD. In honor of National COPD Awareness Month, the COPD Learn More Breathe Better Campaign®, sponsored by the U.S. COPD Coalition, encourages individuals and communities throughout the U.S. to organize discussions, events and other types of outreach to help spread the word about COPD.
COPD affects an estimated 24 million Americans, half of which remain undiagnosed.1 Early diagnosis and treatment are paramount to slowing the progression of COPD and improving quality of life for the many Americans whose lives are affected.
Make Your Voice Heard: Get Involved
You can make your voice heard by visiting the COPD Action Center, a platform developed by the COPD Foundation that makes COPD advocacy quick and simple. Here are just a few of the ways you can get involved:
1. Send pre-written avocacy letters to representatives of Congress in your state.
2. Learn how to effectively communicate with members of Congress through phone calls, letters or emails.
3. Call, write or email representatives of local, state and national government to ask them to support legislature pertaining to COPD. Don’t know their contact information? No problem, you can look it up here.
4. Sign-up to receive action alerts so you know when Congress is dealing with legislature pertaining to COPD.
5. Tell all your friends about the COPD Action Center by sending a pre-composed email. Or, foster COPD awareness by sending them a short-but-sweet COPD E-Card.
6. Find local newspapers in which to publish a customizable press release or letter to the editor about COPD.
7. Stay up to date about COPD issues and legislation.
8. Tell Congress to increase funding for COPD research.
9. Ask your Congressman to join the U.S. COPD Caucus, the only group in Congress that focuses solely on COPD.
10. Make a tax deductible contribution to the COPD Foundation in support of continued research in COPD.
11. Sign up to become a COPD Advocate to receive action alerts and be kept up-to-date on the COPD Foundation’s nationwide advocacy.
The Power of One
Many people mistakenly believe that there is little they can do to generate change. Nothing could be further from the truth. By implementing even one of the action steps listed above, you can make a difference.
Author: Deborah Leader RN, BSN, PHN