pulmonary fibrosis

and infection

sign up to receive quarterly newsletters


  • Related articles
  • Categories
  • Archives

Get out of Breath for #Breathtember this September

September is #Breathtember – Global Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month

 Get out of Breath for #Breathtember

Tweet Tweet!

To help raise awareness, we would ask that supporters tweet different challenges each day in September including the term ‘#Breathtember and to ask their followers to retweet and share this information as widely as possible.

Think outside the box for your challenges – getting out of breath for you could mean:

  • Cycling around your local park
  • Doing a colourful or musical 5K/10K run or walk
  • Singing until you are out of breath
  • Walking over the wonderous London bridges
  • Blow bubbles!
  • Skydiving
  • Or just simply walking up the stairs!

The important thing is that you tweet your challenge every day including the term ‘#Breathtember’ to raise awareness of pulmonary fibrosis.  Add a photo if you like.  This September, we want as many people as possible to see the term ‘#Breathtember’.  To make the biggest impact, the aim is to get the term ‘#Breathtember’ to trend.

Follow us on Twitter for further details: @breathingmatter 



Christmas Concert Tickets Now Available



Friday 8th December 2017 – 7.30pm

St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden

Our annual Christmas Concert with the Holst Singers will take place on Friday 8th December at 7.30pm. The Holst Singers is one of Britain’s foremost choirs, described by the BBC as a “leading chorus on the international stage”.  The concert takes place in the lovely setting of the 17th century St Paul’s Church on the Covent Garden piazza that was designed by Inigo Jones, and will feature well-known traditional carols, as well as more contemporary Christmas music.

The concert will raise money for Breathing Matters, and in particular research into Bronchiectasis led by Professor Brown at University College London.  Our guest readers this year are well known BBC Radio Presenters Nigel Rees and Charlotte Green. Nigel Rees is a writer and broadcaster who has been presenting Radio 4’s “Quote….Unquote” for 40 years.  Charlotte Green has been a familiar voice on the radio for many years, having been the news reader for the Radio 4 “Today” programme and presented the comedy programme “The News Quiz”, and currently being the “reader” for “Quote….unquote”.  In 2013, she joined Classic FM as well as BBC Radio 5 Live, where she announces the football results.

Book your tickets now for what promises to be an evening of wonderful festive entertainment.

Tickets (£25) are now on sale at  For further information and paper tickets, please contact Jane Walker either by email or by phone 01732 366346.


”Donation received from Profile Pharma, towards the costs of staging this concert”




Cyclotopia – Another Success!

What a sunny fun day out Cyclotopia was this year!

Over 100 riders, young and old, enjoyed our bikefest of activities including the smooooth traffic-free road circuit, the challenging mountain trail, the even more challenging Velodrome, along with the kids’ pump track in the centre of the Velodrome itself – while plenty others watched, cheered and had ice creams.  There were prizes too: for the fastest cyclist around the Velodrome, on the watt bikes and around the road circuit.  The prizes were given out by Mark Colbourne MBE, paralympic champion and inspirational speaker along with our sponsors Cycle Republic.

The event brought in over £5000 for Breathing Matters and Haematology Cancer Care, both UCLH Charities.

We are once again very grateful to our fabulous volunteers, without whose help this event could not have taken place.  We are indebted to you all.

Thank you also to Mark Colbourne MBE, Cycle Republic and to the amazingly helpful and professional staff at the Lee Valley VeloPark.

Next year’s event will be on Sunday 20th May 2018 – save the date in your diary now!



disneyland ticket auction – make your bid now


FIVE TICKETS to DISNEYLAND PARIS have been kindly donated to Breathing Matters.

These need to be used by Sunday, 4th June 2017 so this would include the Summer half term break and the late May Bank Holiday weekend.

The tickets are for one day without any restrictions (anytime weekdays or weekend) and allow entry to Disneyland Paris. The tickets are worth £62 each, but Breathing Matters will give them to the HIGHEST BIDDER.

Please pledge your donation by emailing

This auction will close on the evening of Monday, 22nd May 2017 and the highest donor will be informed the day after, on the Tuesday. You will need to be contactable on your email on the Tuesday. Once the pledged donation is received via bank transfer, the tickets will be sent to you by recorded delivery.

What are you waiting for ….. decide on your charity pledge now.




Summer 2017 Newsletter Holiday Quiz – here’s the answers

[Taken from Trip Advisor]


Q:           What were the 5 top travel destinations for the UK traveller in 2016?

A:            Majorca, Tenerife, Ibiza, Crete, Lanzarote


Q:           What was the average cost of a one week summer trip to New York?                                        – £1,937, £2,586 or £3,010

A:            £1,937


Q:           Which is cheaper? – the average meal cost in Majorca or in Tenerife?

A:            Tenerife at £13 per meal.   (Majorca is £17 per meal.)


Q:           How many Brits travelled to Spain for their holiday in 2016?                                                        – 20 million, 64 million or 75 million

A:            A record breaking 75million.

Summer 2017 Newsletter

New Bronch UK Bronchiectasis Study

Patients attending Professor Brown’s clinics who have bronchiectasis are now being recruited for a Medical Research Council funded study into bronchiectasis called Bronch UK.  This is the first study funded by the Medical Research Council into bronchiectasis for many years, and involves nine different centres across the United Kingdom including UCLH. The aim of the study is to describe the spectrum of disease caused by bronchiectasis, including the underlying causes, how severe the disease is and how it actually affects the patients’ quality of life.

In addition, the Bronch UK study has created a network of hospitals ready to do other research into bronchiectasis; for example, the Bronch UK network was used to obtain funding from the Health Technology Assessment scheme for a trial into how effective nebulized hypertonic saline could be in helping patients with bronchiectasis.

For the Bronch UK study, we aim to ask about 100 to 150 UCLH patients with bronchiectasis who are seen in Professor Brown’s clinics to take part.  Patients who agree to take part need to fill in a couple of health questionnaires, donate a blood and sputum sample, and give permission for the details of their condition to be used by the researchers.  There will be a repeat assessment of each volunteer participant in three years time, as that will allow us to identify what factors influence how patients fare over time.

So far at UCLH, we have recruited nearly 40 patients, and our very keen research nurse Joel Solis will be actively recruiting more patients for the study at the Friday morning clinics over the next few months.  He will usually send a letter to selected patients a few days before they are coming to clinic to ask whether they would like to be involved, and then talk to each patient in depth at the clinic itself.  Patients are selected randomly, and we would like to recruit about a third of patients coming to Professor Brown’s for the study. We hope to avoid volunteers for the Bronch UK study having to come back to the hospital outside of their appointment days by collecting the data and samples we need on the same day as the hospital appointment.

We are very grateful for the patients who have agreed to take part in the Bronch UK study so far – almost everyone asked to take part has so far said yes, and it is very gratifying to have such a positive response.

Bronch UK is an important study – it shows that the research funding bodes recognize that bronchiectasis is an important disease that needs further research, and the results from the study itself will tell us a lot about bronchiectasis that we did not know and will stimulate more research into bronchiectasis. This should all lead to better ways of treating patients and thereby reduce the problems this disease causes.


Windsor Royal Parks Charity Recital

Catherine Porter knows Breathing Matters and, for her, it is a family affair.  Her much loved Aunt Eileen was diagnosed with the life-limiting degenerative lung disease pulmonary fibrosis.   It was a devastating diagnosis, but in the aftermath, Catherine knew her Aunt was getting the best medical care available because if she had any queries about the treatment her Aunt was receiving she could ask for advice from her Aunt Jo who is a consultant and research scientist at University College London and who co-founded the charity, Breathing Matters.

Catherine is a University of Cambridge cello scholar, and she is joining up with Philip Howard, international award winning pianist, to hold a recital in Windsor Great Park in aid of Breathing Matters.  This is being held at Cumberland Lodge on the evening of Sunday, 23rd July 2017.

Tickets are free, but you will need to reserve your ticket at 01344 624279 as there is a named door entry.


Come along and enjoy great atmospheric music and a glass of wine in this beautiful 17th Century building in the Great Park.

If you are not able to attend, please support Catherine at:

Click here for more information







Cyclotopia – A bikefest not to be missed!

Cycling Fun   Raising Funds

Have you bought your tickets yet for our fabulous cycling fundraiser, Cyclotopia, at the iconic Olympic VeloPark at Lee Valley on Sunday, 11th June 2017.  It’s a bikefest of an event with so many options to choose from.

Cyclotopia Package includes:

  • Road Circuit – Cycle on the premium mile long track.  Who can go the fastest?  Who can go the longest?
  • Mountain Bike Trails – Challenge yourself on the exciting off-road trails.
  • Static Bike Racing 
  • Tour de France – Experience Tour de France training in the studio
  • Young Kids BMX – Right in the centre of the Velodrome, not to be missed
  • Kids free under 12 years

Velodrome Package includes:

  • A training session at the Velodrome, the fastest track in the world, with expert coaches.
  • Exciting timed laps.
  • Special guest!
  • Complete Cyclotopia Package.
  • Age 12+

Meet and cycle with Paralympic Champion, Mark Colbourne MBE !!!

This event has something for everyone – from complete novices to experienced cyclists.

Register HERE before tickets sell out!

[Cartoon kindly adapted by @RosAsquith from her book, ‘Max the Champion’]





Hay Fever: Here’s how to help prevent it

hay feverWhat is Hay Fever?

Hay fever (seasonal allergic rhinitis) is an allergy to pollen. The pollen season separates into three main sections:

  1. Tree pollen – late March to mid-May.
  2. Grass pollen – mid-May to July.
  3. Weed pollen – end of June to September

To get the latest pollen forecast, view the Met Office weather map which provides a UK forecast of the pollen count and provides any hay fever sufferers with an early warning.

Who Gets Hay Fever?

Hay fever is very common. It affects about 2 in 10 people in the UK. It often first develops in school-age children and during the teenage years, but may start even later in life. Hay fever tends to run in families. You are also more likely to develop hay fever if you already have asthma or eczema. A tendency to these atopic illnesses can run in families.

Hay Fever Symptoms

  • Common symptoms include sneezing, runny or blocked nose, itchy eyes, mouth and throat. Less common are headaches and hives.
  • Asthma symptoms – such as wheeze and breathlessness, may get worse if you already have asthma. Some people have asthma symptoms only during the hay fever season.
  • The symptoms may be so bad in some people that they can affect sleep, interfere with school and examinations, or interfere with work.

Hay Fever Prevention

Although it is very difficult to avoid exposure to pollen, there are a number of measures you can take that will help you to minimise exposure and ease the severity of your hay fever symptoms. Following these steps may help provide some relief from your symptoms:

  • Keep windows closed when at home and overnight. Most pollen is released in the early morning and falls to ground level in the evenings when the air cools.
  • When outdoors, wear sunglasses to keep pollen out of your eyes. For any outdoor tasks, such as gardening, hay fever sufferers should wear a mask.
  • Avoid drying clothes outside when pollen counts are high. If you do, shake items before bringing them inside.
  • Keep car windows closed when driving and fit a pollen filter to reduce the impact of pollen spores.
  • When indoors: vacuum regularly, avoid bringing fresh flowers indoors, and be aware that pets can bring pollen in on their fur.
  • Don’t allow smoking in the house as this will irritate the lining of your nose, eyes, throat and airways, making your hay fever symptoms worse.
  • After being outside, shower and wash your hair to remove pollen.

Hay fever sufferers can benefit from a wide range of medication which can be prescribed by your GP, or alternatively purchased over the counter from your local pharmacy.

Your GP or hospital consultant can help you find the most appropriate treatment for you especially if you also have asthma and other allergies. Treatments include antihistamine tablets or nasal sprays, corticosteroid nasal sprays and drops, nasal decongestants, eye drops, immunotherapy, and alternative therapies.

Treatment for Severe Symptoms

Rarely, a short course of steroid tablets is prescribed for a week or so. For example, for students sitting examinations,   A short course is usually safe.   However, you should not take steroid tablets for long periods to treat hay fever, as serious side-effects may develop.

Dr Harsha Kariyawasam, Consultant Allergist at the Royal ENT Hospital says, “‘The most important step that an individual with allergic rhinitis should do is to have an accurate diagnosis. The exact allergen provoking symptoms should be identified. Where possible, allergen avoidance measures should be instigated. Treatment with medication, introduced in a step wise manner should also be undertaken. We are getting very good treating allergic rhinitis and there are several effective new treatments available. Allergy desentisation by a trained allergist is possible and there are several exciting vaccines either in practice or in development. Everyone deserves to enjoy spring and summer!”.