Woman Conquers Her Fear, Swims Nine Miles in Open Water to Raise Awareness and Funds for Disease That Killed Her Father

Jan 26, 2012, 10:30 ET from Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis

Effort Supports the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis

POTOMAC FALLS, Va., Jan. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Catherine Goodrum has been afraid of being in open water most of her life.  In an effort to overcome her fear, Goodrum joined a Total Immersion™ Women's Swim Camp in St. John, U.S. Virgin lslands and turned the experience into a tribute to her father who died from Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF) in 2009. Goodrum swam a total of nine miles during the camp and used her personal victory to raise funds for the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis (CPF) and its Daughters of PF program.

"I watched my father suffer from this incurable lung disease and I could see the panic on his face as he struggled to breathe.  I realized  the anxiety I felt when swimming was much the same kind of fear and panic.  He fought bravely and I knew I had to fight my fear as a tribute to him," Goodrum said.

PF causes progressive and uncontrollable scarring in the lungs and is ultimately fatal.  The disease, which carries a life expectancy of less than three years, has no FDA treatment and no cure. 

After a tragic sailing accident in her teens, Goodrum abandoned open water and didn't return to swimming until she was almost age 50.

Goodrum, who lives in Potomac Falls, Virg., helps direct the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis' new Daughters of PF program and encourages other women to do awareness and fundraising efforts of their own. Daughters of PF is a program with more than 200 members, all women who have lost a parent or other loved one to PF and want to raise awareness and funding for the CPF to find treatments and a cure.

"Catherine and the women of our Daughters of PF inspire us.  They have experienced such profound loss with the death of a parent or other loved one and have used their grief to fuel their efforts to raise awareness and find a cure.  Catherine's effort is truly one of courage and determination," said Mishka Michon, CEO of the CPF.

In the swim camp in St. John last week, Goodrum told her fellow camp swimmers about her fear of water, her father's death from PF and her fundraising effort along with the women and friends that supported her. Women at the camp donned swim caps with the Daughters of PF logo and several have donated to her effort.  The women also gave her a first-ever award for the camper deemed to be most inspirational and deserving called the Matilda Award.

Goodrum started a blog "The Adventures of Cat and Matilda" to document her year-long journey as the award winner and to raise awareness of PF and support CPF efforts.  To date, Goodrum has raised over $10,000 for the CPF. 

To visit Goodrum's fundraising page, go to: http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/catherinegoodrum/swimtobreathe

To learn more about PF, visit www.coalitionforpf.org

About Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF)
Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF) 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 PF, and there is currently no known cause or cure. An estimated 48,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. PF is difficult to diagnose and an estimated two-thirds of patients die within five years of diagnosis.  Sometimes PF can be linked to a particular cause, such as certain environmental exposures, chemotherapy or radiation therapy, residual infection, or autoimmune diseases such as scleroderma or rheumatoid arthritis. However, in many instances, no known cause can be established. When this is the case, it is called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

About the CPF
The CPF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, founded in 2001 to accelerate research efforts leading to a cure for pulmonary fibrosis (PF), 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 PF; provides patients and families with comprehensive education materials, resources, and hope; serves as a voice for national advocacy of PF issues; and works to improve awareness of PF 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 23,000 members nationwide, the CPF is the largest nonprofit organization in the U.S. dedicated to advocating for those with PF. For more information please visit www.coalitionforpf.org or call (888) 222-8541.

About the Daughters of PF
In 2011, the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis launched a new effort inspired by the tens of thousands of daughters (and others) who have seen a parent suffer from PF.  The women involved in Daughters of PF are professional women in various fields and specialties including legal, medical, and educational.  The women are creating projects across the country and in their local areas to increase awareness and understanding of PF and also holding fundraisers to raise needed money for research and patient support services.  Their efforts are reflective of their interests and talents and will allow them to make a difference right where they are.  For more information, contact the CPF at daughters@coalitionforpf.org or call 1-888-222-8541, ext. 702. 





SOURCE Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis