Sydney, Australia – On World COPD Day, Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a leader in health technology, has announced the launch of a global movement to raise awareness for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
COPD is the fourth leading cause of death worldwide and is estimated to be the third leading cause by 2020. However, there is a lack of awareness and a social stigma associated with the disease. Currently, only about half of the estimated 210 million people with the disease have been officially diagnosed.
In an effort to break these barriers, Philips is collaborating with Australian COPD athlete Russell Winwood to create motivational content designed to help educate, engage and empower COPD patients and their caregivers. To further amplify the message, Philips has committed to donating USD $1 to The COPD Foundation for every campaign video share throughout November, COPD Awareness month.
“I first heard of COPD when I was diagnosed, and I was devastated,” said Winwood. “I wish I understood at that time that this wasn’t a death sentence, and it doesn’t mean you have to give up the things you love. With the support of my wife and family, I vowed that I wouldn’t allow this disease to take control of my life.”
Philips is working with Mr Winwood to share his personal journey with other COPD patients and inspire them to live their lives to the fullest.
“Patients need to feel empowered and encouraged to stand up and remove misconceptions and stigma from their lives. This diagnosis doesn’t mean the end; it means we have a reason to celebrate what our bodies can do.”
After being diagnosed with COPD and discovering that he had just 22% of his lung function, Russell found it difficult to move forward with his everyday routine. However, just six months after his diagnosis, he completed his first full Ironman and continues to participate in triathlons around the world.