Hollywood Takes Notice of Little Known Deadly Lung Disease

Recent Deaths of Well-Known Celebrities, Hit TV Shows Help Spread the

Word About Pulmonary Fibrosis







Jan 18, 2008, 00:00 ET from Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis

    SAN JOSE, Calif., Jan. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As many people die
 each year of pulmonary fibrosis as of breast cancer, yet the disease is
 vastly unknown. Due to the recent deaths to the disease of high profile
 celebrities such as Evel Knievel and Robert Goulet, Hollywood is beginning
 to take notice and hit TV shows are spreading the word, as well.
 
 
 
     HBO's Thursday night hit new show, Autopsy, focused on pulmonary
 fibrosis in last night's episode by telling the real-life story of a 9/11
 responder named Frank Maisano, a New York City police officer forced to
 take early retirement, who is dying from the deadly, incurable lung
 disease. Cases of pulmonary fibrosis have been diagnosed amongst 9/11
 workers including in James Zadroga, a first responder who died in 2006 from
 the disease.
 
 
 
     The recent controversial Michael Moore film, Sicko, featured pulmonary
 fibrosis patients including Vito Valenti, a 9/11 responder and CPF
 volunteer and advocate.
 
 
 
     Other hit but fictional TV shows have featured pulmonary fibrosis in
 their plots in recent months. Fox TV's House medical drama aired two shows
 last season that included pulmonary fibrosis diagnoses or suspicions. TNT's
 Heartland medical drama features actor Dabney Coleman whose character
 suffers from pulmonary fibrosis and uses supplemental oxygen in the series.
 
 
 
     "When Hollywood takes notice of something and celebrities are
 associated with a cause, things really start to happen," said Mishka
 Michon, Chief Executive Officer of the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis.
 "We are thankful for the work being done in TV and film to raise awareness
 and increase interest in pulmonary fibrosis. It is this kind of interest,
 as with AIDS and breast cancer, that takes a disease from terminal to
 treatable."
 
 
 
     Pulmonary Fibrosis is a lung disorder characterized by a progressive
 scarring -- known as fibrosis -- and deterioration of the lungs, which
 slowly robs its victims of their ability to breathe. Approximately 128,000
 Americans suffer from IPF and 40,000 will die this year.
 
 
 
     Other Hollywood celebrities to die from pulmonary fibrosis include
 actors Marlon Brando, James Doohan (Scotty of Star Trek) and Gordon Jump
 (Maytag Repairman, WKRP in Cincinnati). Jaws author Peter Benchley also
 died from the disease.
 
 
 
     About Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)
 
     IPF is a lung disorder characterized by a progressive scarring -- known
 as fibrosis -- and deterioration of the lungs, which slowly robs its
 victims of their ability to breathe. Approximately 128,000 Americans suffer
 from IPF, which is the most prevalent of a classification of lung disorders
 known as interstitial lung diseases (ILDs). There is currently no known
 cause or cure for IPF, nor is there an FDA-approved treatment. An estimated
 48,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. IPF is difficult to diagnose, and
 an estimated two-thirds of patients die within five years of diagnosis.
 
 
 
     About the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis
 
     The Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis (CPF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit
 organization, founded in 2001 to accelerate research efforts leading to a
 cure for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), while educating, supporting,
 and advocating for the community of patients, families, and medical
 professionals fighting this disease. The CPF funds promising research into
 new approaches to treat and cure pulmonary fibrosis; provides patients and
 families with comprehensive education materials, resources, and hope;
 serves as a voice for national advocacy of IPF issues; and works to improve
 awareness of IPF in the medical community as well as the general public.
 The CPF's nonprofit partners include many of the most respected medical
 centers and healthcare organizations in the U.S. With more than 15,000
 members nationwide, the CPF is the largest nonprofit organization in the
 U.S. dedicated to advocating for those with pulmonary fibrosis. For more
 information please visit http://www.coalitionforpf.org or call (888)
 222-8541.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

SOURCE Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis
    SAN JOSE, Calif., Jan. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As many people die
 each year of pulmonary fibrosis as of breast cancer, yet the disease is
 vastly unknown. Due to the recent deaths to the disease of high profile
 celebrities such as Evel Knievel and Robert Goulet, Hollywood is beginning
 to take notice and hit TV shows are spreading the word, as well.
 
 
 
     HBO's Thursday night hit new show, Autopsy, focused on pulmonary
 fibrosis in last night's episode by telling the real-life story of a 9/11
 responder named Frank Maisano, a New York City police officer forced to
 take early retirement, who is dying from the deadly, incurable lung
 disease. Cases of pulmonary fibrosis have been diagnosed amongst 9/11
 workers including in James Zadroga, a first responder who died in 2006 from
 the disease.
 
 
 
     The recent controversial Michael Moore film, Sicko, featured pulmonary
 fibrosis patients including Vito Valenti, a 9/11 responder and CPF
 volunteer and advocate.
 
 
 
     Other hit but fictional TV shows have featured pulmonary fibrosis in
 their plots in recent months. Fox TV's House medical drama aired two shows
 last season that included pulmonary fibrosis diagnoses or suspicions. TNT's
 Heartland medical drama features actor Dabney Coleman whose character
 suffers from pulmonary fibrosis and uses supplemental oxygen in the series.
 
 
 
     "When Hollywood takes notice of something and celebrities are
 associated with a cause, things really start to happen," said Mishka
 Michon, Chief Executive Officer of the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis.
 "We are thankful for the work being done in TV and film to raise awareness
 and increase interest in pulmonary fibrosis. It is this kind of interest,
 as with AIDS and breast cancer, that takes a disease from terminal to
 treatable."
 
 
 
     Pulmonary Fibrosis is a lung disorder characterized by a progressive
 scarring -- known as fibrosis -- and deterioration of the lungs, which
 slowly robs its victims of their ability to breathe. Approximately 128,000
 Americans suffer from IPF and 40,000 will die this year.
 
 
 
     Other Hollywood celebrities to die from pulmonary fibrosis include
 actors Marlon Brando, James Doohan (Scotty of Star Trek) and Gordon Jump
 (Maytag Repairman, WKRP in Cincinnati). Jaws author Peter Benchley also
 died from the disease.
 
 
 
     About Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)
 
     IPF is a lung disorder characterized by a progressive scarring -- known
 as fibrosis -- and deterioration of the lungs, which slowly robs its
 victims of their ability to breathe. Approximately 128,000 Americans suffer
 from IPF, which is the most prevalent of a classification of lung disorders
 known as interstitial lung diseases (ILDs). There is currently no known
 cause or cure for IPF, nor is there an FDA-approved treatment. An estimated
 48,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. IPF is difficult to diagnose, and
 an estimated two-thirds of patients die within five years of diagnosis.
 
 
 
     About the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis
 
     The Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis (CPF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit
 organization, founded in 2001 to accelerate research efforts leading to a
 cure for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), while educating, supporting,
 and advocating for the community of patients, families, and medical
 professionals fighting this disease. The CPF funds promising research into
 new approaches to treat and cure pulmonary fibrosis; provides patients and
 families with comprehensive education materials, resources, and hope;
 serves as a voice for national advocacy of IPF issues; and works to improve
 awareness of IPF in the medical community as well as the general public.
 The CPF's nonprofit partners include many of the most respected medical
 centers and healthcare organizations in the U.S. With more than 15,000
 members nationwide, the CPF is the largest nonprofit organization in the
 U.S. dedicated to advocating for those with pulmonary fibrosis. For more
 information please visit http://www.coalitionforpf.org or call (888)
 222-8541.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 SOURCE Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis