Michael "Pinball" Clemons tackles pneumococcal pneumonia

Canadian football legend teams up with the Ontario Lung Association for #Grounded campaign

To view more media materials please visit: http://www.multivu.com/players/English/7686251-OLA-grounded-pneumonia/ 

TORONTO, Nov. 12, 2015 /CNW/ - Today is World Pneumonia Day and retired Canadian Football League (CFL) player Michael "Pinball" Clemons has partnered with the Ontario Lung Association (OLA) to raise awareness of pneumococcal pneumonia.

Michael knows the devastating impact of pneumonia as his grandmother passed away from the disease, when his mother was only five years old. November is #LungMonth, and he has made it his mission to bring attention to the disease and preventative measures to help Canadians reduce the risk and potential complications.

"Pneumonia is viewed as an older person's disease, but my grandmother's passing is a reminder that it can strike anyone at any time," said Clemons. "By increasing awareness of this disease and encouraging Canadians to take preventative steps, we hope they will be able to see the great things in life that my grandmother never got a chance to see, such as her daughter growing up."

Pneumonia is one of the leading causes of hospitalizations and death in seniors,1 resulting in a significant impact on the healthcare system. More than 70 per cent of adult patients who survive pneumonia will be re-hospitalized within five years.2

"Many believe that immunization is only for children, but the good news is that pneumococcal pneumonia may be preventable through vaccination," said George Habib, President and CEO, OLA. "By increasing awareness, we hope that Canadians will take the necessary steps to help protect themselves against potentially life-threatening and life-altering lung diseases like pneumococcal pneumonia."

Canadians encouraged to protect their "Golden Years"
Nobody likes to be grounded. #Grounded highlights the importance of prevention against pneumococcal pneumonia, and encourages Canadians to preserve and protect their golden years.

Canadians are invited to participate and help raise awareness. For each view of the #Grounded video featuring Michael "Pinball" Clemons or share of the hashtag on social media – Facebook or Twitter – $5.00 will be donated to the OLA. For more information about #Grounded and #LungMonth, visit the OLA website at www.on.lung.ca

About pneumococcal pneumonia
Pneumococcal pneumonia is a significant health concern in Canada. Each year, there are more than 61,000 cases of pneumonia in Ontario.3 As people age, their immune system weakens, making them even more susceptible to pneumococcal pneumonia, a serious but preventable lung disease.4,5 Those who are able to recover often live with the lingering impact of the illness, such as difficulty performing daily activities, including walking, dressing and food preparation.6

References
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1 Ontario Burden of Infectious Disease Study. Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion. Accessed 10-08-2015. Available at: https://www.publichealthontario.ca/en/eRepository/ONBoID_ICES_Report_ma18.pdf.

2 Johnstone J, Eurich DT, Minhas JK, et al. Impact of the pneumococcal vaccine on long-term morbidity and mortality of adults at high risk for pneumonia. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2010;51(1):15-22.

3 Ontario Burden of Infectious Disease Study. Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion. Accessed 10-08-2015. Available at: https://www.publichealthontario.ca/en/eRepository/ONBoID_ICES_Report_ma18.pdf.

4 Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Immunization: Pneumococcal Vaccine 2002. Accessed 10-08-2015. Available at: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/publications/immune/docs/pnem.pdf.

5 Sinha, Samir K. Living Longer, Living Well: Recommendations to Inform a Seniors Strategy for Ontario. 2012. Page 50. Accessed 10-21-2015. Available at: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/common/ministry/publications/reports/seniors_strategy/docs/seniors_strategy_report.pdf.

6 Functional Disability, Cognitive Impairment, and Depression Following Hospitalization for Pneumonia. American Journal of Medicine. 2013. Accessed 10-21-2015. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3690157/.


SOURCE Ontario Lung Association

Video with caption: "It's game day with Michael "Pinball" Clemons, but Tom's #grounded by pneumococcal pneumonia. For each video view or share, $5 will be donated to the Ontario Lung Association". Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20151112_C6675_VIDEO_EN_541683.mp4&posterurl=http%3a%2f%2fphotos.newswire.ca%2fimages%2f20151112_C6675_PHOTO_EN_541683.jpg&order=1&jdd=20151112&cnum=C6675

Image with caption: "Each year, there are more than 61,000 cases of pneumonia in Ontario, which is one of the leading causes of hospitalizations and death in seniors. Don’t get #grounded by pneumococcal pneumonia (CNW Group/Ontario Lung Association)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151112_C6675_PHOTO_EN_541657.jpg

Image with caption: "Michael “Pinball” Clemons has made it his mission to bring attention to pneumococcal pneumonia and preventative measures to help Canadians reduce their risk and potential (CNW Group/Ontario Lung Association)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151112_C6675_PHOTO_EN_541659.jpg

For further information: Rick Maddalena, NATIONAL Public Relations, 416-848-1425, rmaddalena@national.ca

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