The Lung Disease Support Group Inc. (LDSG Inc.) is a not-for-profit charitable organization committed to providing information, education and support to people affected by lung disease and to generating broad awareness about COPD and other lung conditions. It is head-quartered in Sudbury, Ontario but plans to expand throughout Northern Ontario in the future.
Brenda Cunningham had emphysema and knew she needed to talk with someone suffering from a similar condition. While attending the Pulmonary Clinic Program she met several others who had lung disease and they chatted while exercising. After graduating from the program theycontinued to meet twice a week to exercise and hang out afterwards to share stories over a cup of coffee or tea. A common thread of the conversation was the frustration and anger they experienced when they talked to family or friends about their health concerns, although they listened they did not understand and that was the problem. It was an idea, a dream that was never far from the thoughts of these new friends to have a support group, a safe place where others could join them and share their stories. Brenda had recently become the Sudbury and Area Ambassador for TEAM|COPD, a Toronto group whose mandate was to promote awareness of COPD at the grass roots level and she felt this would give her the opportunity to become a lung health advocate. As the Sudbury Ambassador, she was to plan an event on November 15th, 2006 for World COPD Day, to increase awareness of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in the community. This presented the perfect opportunity to reach out to others, so she arranged to have a display in an area mall and recruited Renee Bertrand from Medigas her oxygen supplier, and Karen Zalan head of the Pulmonary Rehab Clinic, to join her. Together this trio passed out information and talked about the ever increasing number of people diagnosed with COPD, and the even larger number that remained undiagnosed. During the day they discussed the value of support for those coping with lung disease. Brenda knew that a support group was achievable and presented the ideas to the group over their morning coffee. She recruited Bruce Eyre, Neldra Burke, Jeanne Hoffman, Betty Janveau, Lucie Wunsch, and Marjory Ruttan to work with her as the Founding Committee. She later approached her youngest son, Gerry, with the possibility of his sitting as President, and he accepted. Everything was coming together. This dedicated group of seven launched the Lung Disease Support Group on April 30th, 2007 with a membership of twenty. By LDSG’s first anniversary on April 30th, 2008, membership reached sixty six, the official logo and slogan were completed, and thanks to the dedication of Gerry, who put in many long hours, they were incorporated and would be known as LDSG Inc. The next challenge was to get Charitable Status. In 2011, Gerry gave everyone the good news, as we had achieved our goal, and had become a Registered Charity.
To reach out and make the general population aware that Lung Disease is an ever increasing threat to our health. To improve the quality of life for those diagnosed with lung disease.
To create a greater awareness of lung disease and to provide education and support for patients, their families, caregivers, health care professionals, and the general population, thereby improving the quality of life for all people affected by lung disease
Goals of LDSG Inc.
The Lung Disease Support Group Inc. has four overall goals that we are trying to achieve:
- To educate and support patients with lung disease, their families and caregivers.
- To liaise with the medical community and other health care professionals and organizations to increase awareness, educate and encourage detection and adequate treatment of lung disease.
- To increase the awareness of lung disease in the general population across Northern Ontario.
- To encourage and support research into lung disease.
Although we have not completely succeeded in fully achieving every component of these goals, as we continue to grow and learn as an organization we are getting closer to making more of these goals a reality.
For more detailed information on the aims of LDSG Inc. read the goals document.