Cyclotopia 2016

When:    Sunday, 12th June 2016

Where:    Lee Valley VeloPark, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

???????????????Cyclotopia 2016 brings you an incredible opportunity to visit Lee Valley VeloPark which brings together three cycling disciplines of road racing, mountain biking or track cycling in the iconic Velodrome.


Follow the world’s top cyclists at the UK’s leading cycling hub – and raise lots of money for Breathing Matters!


This event has something for everyone from complete novices, families to experienced cyclists.
We will have competitions and prizes on the day.
Bikes and helmets are available at the VeloPark and will be within the price.


Watch out for the Registration live date coming up at the end of February!

To whet your appetite, have a look at last year’s photos.


Professor Brown Reports

This undated photo provided by BTG PLC shows a rendering of the PneumRx Endobronchial Coil. A novel, minimally invasive way to treat severe breathing problems caused by lung disease showed modest but promising benefits in a small French study. The technique involves inserting several small metal alloy coils through a scope into the lungs, aiming to tighten diseased tissue and open up healthy airways. (BTG PLC via AP)

You may have seen recent newspaper reports about French researchers who have tested a technique involving inserting small coils through a scope into the lungs with the objective of tightening diseased tissue and open up healthy airways.

Professor Brown from Breathing Matters comments, ‘Using coils inserted into the airways of the lung to help patients with emphysema has been researched for a few years now, and the evidence does suggest they can improve some patients’ breathing. They do this by blocking airflow to parts of the lung that have been particularly badly affected by emphysema, which allows more air to get to parts of the lung that have not been so badly affected. However, they are really only useful for a very small proportion of patients with COPD, and I do worry they might increase the risk of pneumonia as they might prevent the lungs from clearing bacteria.’

For more information, visit

Explore the Globe for Charity

Sometimes, a cycle at a national park, a coffee morning at your local cafe or a 10K run is just not enough of a challenge. Sometimes, you need to go further afield!

Breathing Matters has teamed up with Global Adventure Challenges who offer some amazing charity challenges. There are so many international challenges to choose from at, but here’s just a few examples:

Canada: The Rockies Trek: 17.9.16-24.9.16

Minimum sponsorship: £399 + £3,300 + airport TAX

Self-funding:                £399 + £1,649 + airport TAX


Tanzania,  Kilimanjaro; Machame Trail Trek: 18.2.16-28.2.16, 6.10.16-16.10.16

Minimum sponsorship: £399 + £3,650 + airport TAX

Self-funding:                £399 + £1,825 + airport TAX


Morocco, Sahara Desert Trek: 18.2.16-23.2.16, 10.11.16-15.11.16

Minimum sponsorship: £175 + £1,700 + £100 airport TAX

Self-funding:                £175 + £850 + £100 airport TAX


USA Yosemite to San Fran Cycle:  11.6.16-19.6.16, 24.9.16-2.10.16, 23.9.17-1.10.17

Minimum sponsorship: £399 + £3,800 + airport TAX for 2016 trips

Self-funding:                £399 + £1,900 + airport TAX for 2016 trips

San Fran

India Cycle: 18.11.16-27.11.16, 17.11.17-26.11.17

Minimum sponsorship: £299 + £2,700 + £250 airport TAX for 2016 trips

Self-funding:                £299 + £1,349 + £250 airport TAX for 2016 trips

India cycle

Zambia, Zambezi Raft Challenge: 10.9.16-17.9.16, 9.9.17-16.9.17

Minimum sponsorship: £399 + £3,600 + airport TAX for 2016 trips

Self-funding:                £399 + £1,799 + airport TAX for 2016 trips


Lapland: Husky Trail Dog Sled:  10.4.16-17.4.16, 24.3.17-31.3.17, 1.4.17-8.4.17, 9.4.17-16.4.17

Minimum sponsorship: £499 + £4,000 + airport TAX for 2016 trips

Self-funding:                £499 + £1,999 + airport TAX for 2016 trips


India Motorcycle Challenge:  21.10.16-30.10.16

Minimum sponsorship: £399 + £2,850 + airport TAX

Self-funding:                £399 + £1,425 + airport TAX

motorcycle1-676 India

There are two ways of funding your challenge; minimum sponsorship or self-funding.

For payment option A – minimum sponsorship – You pay the non-refundable deposit (the first sum above) to Global Adventure Challenges.  This is used to organise your trip including securing airline seats and relevant permits. You then commit to raising the minimum sponsorship (the second sum above) for Breathing Matters.  You can set up a Justgiving Page from our home page ( and 80% of the minimum sponsorship MUST be raised no later than ELEVEN WEEKS BEFORE DEPARTURE as this is when Breathing Matters will pay your challenge costs direct to Global Adventure Challenges.  Failure to raise this money may mean non-participation and cancellation of your challenge so it is important to raise your funds early.  The remaining 20% should be received no more than two weeks after your challenge finishes (we may ask for proof of offline pledges). We would be grateful if you could try and raise as much as you can over the minimum sponsorship target as every penny of this is what Breathing Matters will receive.  The more you raise, the more research work we can do and the more your challenge will have been worthwhile.

For payment option B – self-funding – You pay the non-refundable deposit (the first sum above) to Global Adventure Challenges which is used to organise your trip including securing airline seats and relevant permits. Ten weeks before departure, Global Adventure Challenges will invoice you for the balance (the second sum above) and this should be paid within two weeks; eight weeks prior to your challenge.  Although there is no minimum sponsorship target for this option, we would encourage you to raise as much as possible for Breathing Matters (via The more you raise, the more research work we can do and the more your challenge will have been worthwhile.

If all the above fills you with dread, why don’t you check out many more challenges including those closer to home in the UK on

Always Remember: Breathing Matters!


A Merry Christmas To All Our Supporters

Christmas-Tree-Blue Vector-IllustrationBreathing Matters would like to wish you many festive greetings for the Christmas season and a very healthy and happy New Year.

Thanks to you all for your loyal support over the last year.

It was lovely to see so many of you at our new Cyclotopia event at the Olympic Park Velodrome in June; the atmosphere was electric. Next year, we will be even bigger and better – Sunday, 12th June 2016 – save the date!

Our charity Christmas concert in St Paul’s Covent Garden with the Holst Singers this month was truly magical and the church was packed with our supporters.  It started off the Christmas season with a bang. Many thanks to those of you who came along and to Jane Walker for organising this and raising £4000.

Thanks also to those of you who helped with our#Breathtember Campaign during September, Global Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month. The campaign requested you to tweet the term ‘#Breathtember’ and to ask your followers to retweet these messages to spread the word and raise awareness as widely as possible of pulmonary fibrosis. We more than doubled our tweets this year and we went international – so thank you all for your help. It is not too early to start planning for next year’s #Breathtember Campaign – start to increase your followers on twitter, or join if you haven’t done so already, and follow us @breathingmatter

We are proud to be Local Charity of the year for Sainsbury’s Warren Street this year and have been working with them to raise awareness and money.

A HUGE thank you to all our supporters who have fundraised in all different ways this year; including marathons, half marathons, 5K and 10K runs, stalls, skydives, cake bake, triathlons, bunjee jumps, hike, dryathlon, climbs, swims, headshave, diet, cycles, motorcycle trek and multiple obstacle races.

Pin badgeRaising awareness is working. People are starting to notice pulmonary fibrosis – please help us continue the good work. Our supporters on the website, facebook and twitter have now increased to almost 2400 supporters. We need as many supporters as possible to help raise awareness of pulmonary fibrosis and lung infection, so asking your family and friends to like/follow us will help, and more retweeting too. You might like to put our newsletters, leaflets, stickers or windmills on posterboards around your local area – we are always happy to provide these for you. Or you can buy our new pin badges. Stories in the media are a fantastic way of raising awareness for Breathing Matters, and thank you so much to those of you who have managed to get your stories on radio and in newspapers during 2015.

All of us from Breathing Matters hope you are surrounded by love, joy, peace and comfort this season. May you be reminded of all the most important things in your life.

A Merry Christmas to all!



Beat the Flu

SneezeThe ‘flu, or influenza virus can cause infections all year round, but in the UK, it is most common in the winter. There are many strains, some of which are worse than others, such as swine ‘flu (H1N1 strain) which tends to have a more rapid onset, high fevers and stomach upset and has caused fatalities, often in previously fit adults.  ‘Flu affects 10% of the population each year, but rises to 25-30% during an epidemic. In contrast, adults have approx 2 to 3 colds per year and children 5 to 6.

Do I Have ‘Flu or a Cold?

Features of ‘Flu Features of a Cold
  • Symptoms appear suddenly
  • Leaves you exhausted and unable to move, affecting the whole body
  • Can cause complications, including pneumonia, sometimes fatal
  • Lasts for one week, then you get better
  • Symptoms appear gradually
  • Affects only nose, throat, sinuses and upper chest
  • Still able to function
  • Recover fully in a week

Vaccination Against the ‘Flu

Anyone can get the ‘flu and, the more a person is in close contact with people who have the virus, the more likely they are to get it.  Certain at risk groups are advised to have a ‘flu vaccination. They include:

  • Everyone over the age of 65.
  • People of any age with lung diseases, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes or lowered immunity.
  • Anyone living in a residential or nursing home.
  • Carers of those at risk.

The UK is fortunate to have a safe and effective vaccination against the ‘flu, which is provided free of charge by the NHS. Those most at risk are advised to have a vaccination every year. This is because the ‘flu virus changes slightly every year.  Despite popular belief, the ‘flu vaccination can not give you ‘flu. It’s true that some people experience symptoms of a heavy cold at the same time or just after they’ve had the ‘flu jab – this is simply a coincidence and the symptoms are caused by one of the many common cold viruses in the autumn and winter.  It is still possible to suffer heavy colds after a vaccination, as the ‘flu jab only protects people from the ‘flu virus, not other viruses.

The ‘flu vaccination is available from October each year.  Anyone who thinks they need it should talk to their doctor or nurse.

How to Treat the ‘Flu

Antibiotics are of no use in treating ‘flu. Anti-viral medication is available from the GP for at risk groups, but it needs to be taken early on in the disease to stop the virus multiplying, and may only reduce the symptoms rather than treating the infection.

The best ways to treat the symptoms of flu are:

  • Get plenty of rest. The body uses a lot of energy fighting infections, so resting for the first couple of days gets it off to a good start.
  • Keep warm.
  • Make sure you drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, and try hot water with lemon, ginger and honey to relieve symptoms such as sore throat.
  • Take paracetamol or anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen to lower a high temperature and relieve aches.

Always contact your doctor if you’re not getting better after a few days, if you’re unduly short of breath or if you’re coughing up blood or large amounts of yellow or green phlegm.

HappyHow to Keep Healthy and Avoid Getting the ‘Flu

  • Keep your immune system strong by eating a healthy diet.
  • Take regular exercise.
  • Get enough rest and relaxation.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Take regular vitamins and bump up your vitamin C.
  • Wash your hands often and keep a bottle of antibacterial handclean around.
  • Avoid people who are coughing and sneezing, especially if they’re not covering their mouth and nose.
  • Use and bin your tissues.

What Shall We Do in the Spring?


velodrome 1
In the summer, we have Cyclotopia – a charity bike ride with a difference at the Olympic Park Velodrome [].
In the autumn, we have our #Breathtember campaign  – raising awareness of pulmonary fibrosis and Jo running 9Kasking people to get out of breath and tweet the term #Breathtember [].
Holst SingersIn the winter, we have our fabulous Charity Christmas Concert [11.12.15]
We also support awareness days, such as World COPD Day and World Pneumonia Day in November. 
We are looking into what we could hold in the spring – it could be a 5K/10K run, a clean air campaign, another awareness day, a sponsored climb … anything!

Rugby Union World Cup Quiz, Autumn 2015 Newsletter


Q: How many players make up a Rugby Union team?

A: 15


Q: How many Rugby World Cups have there been?

A: 8


Q: How many points for a drop goal?

A: 3


Q: What is the Rugby World Cup trophy called?

A: Webb Ellis Cup


Q: Who scored the most tries in the 2015 Rugby World Cup?

A: Julian Savea of New Zealand



Autumn 2015 Newsletter

For our Autumn 2015 Newsletter, please click here



Scientific Round Up for 2015

By Dr Porter and Prof Brown

It has been a busy year for presentations this year in the Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) Group. Dr Theresia with CryoscopeTheresia Mikolasch (Breathing Matters Lawrence Matz Clinical Fellow) presented the UCLH experience of relatively non-invasive cryobiopsies at the European Respiratory Society in Amsterdam in September. This was very well received as she is the pioneer of this procedure in the UK and it is only currently available at UCLH. Dr Mikolasch is also due to give a talk on her work at the British Thoracic Society meeting in December.

Dr Akif Khawaja is presenting his work on rheumatoid arthritis associated ILD at the American Society of Rheumatology in November in San Francisco. The results from the novel PET imaging project has shown some remarkable correlations between the results of the original FDG-PET scan of the lungs and mortality in pulmonary fibrosis of all varieties and we hope that this paper will be published in the New Year.

Dr Sara Brilha has completed a paper looking at the effect of fibrosis on the lung epithelium which is now submitted for publication.

The group continues to grow with a new research nurse and study coordinator and has signed up to five clinical trials in ILD, including a study of combined pirfenidone and nintedanib therapy in IPF; pirfenidone in non-IPF ILD; septrin in IPF; dabigatran in IPF; losmapimod in RA-ILD; as well as our ongoing studies.

We have also been awarded a joint grant with Papworth to look at obliterative bronchiolitis, a complication that affects many patients post-lung transplant, that we hope to start in the New Year.

It has also been a busy year for publications for Professor Brown’s Lung Infection group with 11 research papers published so far. The highlights are a paper in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (Suri et al in press JACI) describing how exposure to welding fumes makes pneumonia more likely, and a paper published in November in the European Respiratory Journal (Quint et al. Europ Resp J in press 2015) which shows that bronchiectasis is  much commoner than previously thought and is increasing in both incidence and prevalence as well as associated with a marked increase in age-dependent mortality.

Blue coats in labThe eagerly awaited laboratory refurbishment is at last complete and we are excited that the New Year will be very productive after being uprooted from the laboratories for the move. The refurb has been funded by UCL as part of their commitment to keep the buildings in working order.

Dr Manuela Plate, one of our researchers says, “The newly refurbished labs are truly wonderful. It is not just the way they look, it is also the way spaces have been designed around us. It has really improved the way we work and the quality of our output.

I really like the new open plan office as well, the fact that we are all in the same room is improving communications between us and with the Principal Investigators and Professors, fostering conversations and collaborations between people in different groups. There is a really nice, collegiate atmosphere.  A big success all around!”

We would like to say a massive THANK YOU to all of our patients and fundraisers for taking part in our studies and for providing the means for us to keep our studies going.Thank You







Pin badges are Here!

Pin badge

We are so proud of our new pin badges!

These are £2 each to purchase.  To order, please email to wear these with pride or sell for awareness.