Canada participates in an international campaign to encourage people living with IPF to live for today and keep fighting their disease.
MISSISSAUGA, ON, Nov. 15, 2016 /CNW/ - Just in time for Lung Awareness Month comes a powerful and emotionally-charged rendition of Rachel Platten's inspirational hit 'Fight Song', sung by the children and grandchildren of people living with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) as part of a global campaign. They shared a special day of filming together to urge their parents and grandparents to continue to stand up to IPF, by learning more about the disease to help them make more informed decisions, enabling them to live for today and keep fighting their disease.
IPF is a rare, but fatal lung disease,1 which causes progressive scarring in the lungs and affects a person's ability to breathe.2 In IPF, once lung function is lost, it can never be regained. There is no known cause of IPF, and by the time symptoms appear, the lungs have already been damaged.3 As the disease progresses, everyday tasks such as climbing stairs or getting dressed can become difficult, and eventually, oxygen therapy may be needed.4
Seventy-year-old Canadian, Jim Gillies, has been living with IPF for four years and is just one of the many inspiring IPF patients who participated in the campaign. After just a few days of training with a vocal coach, Jim's daughter and grandchildren, along with other family members of people with IPF from Canada and Europe, surprised their parents and grandparents with an inspiring live performance in London, England. The video can be viewed here.
"I felt every emotion watching my daughter and grandchildren perform this song with so many others who have been touched by IPF," says Jim Gillies, husband, father of two and grandfather of four. "It reminds me that every day is precious. To know this disease is eventually going to take you, makes me want to do all I can physically and mentally to stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible. I want to be part of defining this disease, and not have the disease define me. By sharing my story, and by being a part of this, I hope to encourage people to be aware of the symptoms, and the importance of early diagnosis and treatment."
The prognosis of IPF is almost as serious as lung cancer – one of the worst forms of cancer.5 In most cases, it is eventually fatal, however early diagnosis and treatment can slow down the progression of the disease,6 ,7 allowing people to continue to do what they love for longer.
"People living with IPF go through so much and given the significant impact, often those living with IPF are defined by their illness," says Robert Davidson, President and Founder, Canadian Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. "That's why this campaign is so important. We want to remind patients that they are not alone and first and foremost they are much loved and supported parents and grandparents. When patients understand they are not alone in their plight but share it with a multitude of others they are encouraged and feel part of a larger family of friends and supporters, empowering them to live life in the moment, strive toward their goals and never surrender."
Classically trained pianist and U.K. TV presenter Myleene Klass accompanied the group for the live performance, hoping to inspire people through music. "As a musician and a mother, I feel privileged to be part of this campaign which has touched the hearts of us all," says Myleen Klass. Music has this amazing ability to lift the soul and make you feel proud and celebratory for all the things you have. So I hope that through the power of music we can inspire people with IPF to embrace living in the moment and continue to live their lives the best way in which they can."
The emotive campaign aims to empower the 15,000 Canadians living with IPF and their families to stand up to this disease, encourage them to have informed conversations with their doctor about their options and generate an understanding of the disease amongst the general public.
Pulmonary fibrosis (PF) affects an estimated 30,000 Canadians and is responsible for 5,000 deaths each year.8 Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is the most common form of PF. Every year, 6,000 people are diagnosed with PF and this number is expected to increase as the population ages.9 Typical symptoms include: shortness of breath; a dry, hacking cough; loss of appetite; rapid weight loss; extreme tiredness and loss of energy; chest discomfort; coldness in the hands and feet; and memory loss.10
The campaign was developed by Roche and the IPF community and was inspired by the Philips 'Breathless Choir'.
For more information on IPF, visit FightIPF.ca, a new online hub designed to inform and empower patients diagnosed with IPF and their family members.
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world's largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and neuroscience. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management. Roche's personalized healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostics that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life, and survival of patients. Founded in 1886, Roche has been making important contribution to global health for more than a century. Twenty-eight medicines developed by Roche are included in the World Health Organization Model Lists of Essential Medicines, among them life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and chemotherapy. In 2014, the Roche Group employed 88,500 people worldwide, invested 8.9 billion Swiss francs in R&D and posted sales of 47.5 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information, please visit www.roche.com.
Roche Canada was founded in 1931. The company employs approximately 900 people across the country, with its pharmaceuticals head office located in Mississauga, Ontario, and diagnostics division based in Laval, Quebec. Roche Canada is actively involved in local communities, investing in charitable organizations and partnering with healthcare institutions across the country. For more information, visit www.rochecanada.com.
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1 Costabel, Ulrich. The changing treatment landscape in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. European Respiratory Review. 2015;24:65-68.
2 Canadian Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Patient Information Guide. What is Pulmonary Fibrosis? Accessed September 19, 2016. Available at: http://cpff.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/IPF_Guide_2012_Final_V1.1_2015MAY01.pdf
3 Canadian Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Patient Information Guide. What Are The Symptoms? Accessed September 19, 2016. Available at: http://cpff.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/IPF_Guide_2012_Final_V1.1_2015MAY01.pdf
5 The Lung Association. Lung Cancer Summit 2014. Accessed September 20, 2016. Available at: http://www.on.lung.ca/document.doc?id=2406
6 Canadian Lung Association. Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis – Treatment. Accessed on April 19, 2016. Available at http://www.lung.ca/lung-health/lung-disease/idiopathic-pulmonary-fibrosis/treatment.
7 Canadian Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Patient Information Guide. What You Can Do. Accessed April 19, 2016. Available at: http://cpff.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/IPF_Guide_2012_Final_V1.1_2015MAY01.pdf
8 Canadian Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Patient Information Guide. What is Pulmonary Fibrosis? Accessed September 19, 2016. Available at: http://cpff.ca/understanding-pf/what-is-pulmonary-fibrosis/
9 Canadian Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Patient Information Guide. How Many People Have It? Accessed September 19, 2016. Available at: http://cpff.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/IPF_Guide_2012_Final_V1.1_2015MAY01.pdf
10 Canadian Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Patient Information Guide. What Are The Symptoms? Accessed September 19, 2016. Available at: http://cpff.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/IPF_Guide_2012_Final_V1.1_2015MAY01.pdf
SOURCE Roche Canada
Image with caption: "Grandchildren & parents unite to stand up to IPF in a powerful performance of ‘Fight Song’. (CNW Group/Roche Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20161115_C7074_PHOTO_EN_818420.jpg
Image with caption: "Canadian, Jim Gillies, is one of many IPF patients who participated in the international campaign. (CNW Group/Roche Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20161115_C7074_PHOTO_EN_818422.jpg
For further information: Ashley Iyer-Dhillon, Roche Canada, 905-542-5907, Ashley.firstname.lastname@example.org; Michael Kohn, Weber Shandwick, 416-642-7914, email@example.com