We would like to thank to you all for your loyal support over the last year and for giving so much of your time and funds. Since our launch in January 2011, you have helped us raise £500K – without you, this simply would not have been possible. We thank you!
So, what have we done with all your raised funds? We have spent this wisely and here are a few important areas of research where your money has been focussed in 2017:
We recruited a fabulous clinician, Dr Helen Garthwaite, to be our Mark Hulme Clinical Fellow. Helen has pioneered the use of anticoagulation in IPF and has established the first clinical trial of directly acting antithrombin agent, dabigatran, in IPF. We have now started recruiting to this study and the first two patients have completed the trial. We hope that the results will be available shortly and may provide the impetus for a much larger study.
We held a patient and public event for IPF. There were presentations on our research projects including our work on rheumatoid arthritis associated ILD, platelet and clotting in IPF, genetics of IPF and novel imaging in IPF. We also met with old and new friends and established our research priorities for 2018. We plan a much larger study of anticoagulation in IPF.
We completed our PET scan in IPF study which has been accepted for publication. This showed that PET scans are able to help us more accurately define the prognosis in patients with IPF. A big thank you to the 112 patients with IPF that have given up their time for scanning over the last 5 years.
We published three papers on bronchiectasis which show that, although bronchiectasis is a pure lung disease, the ill-health it causes results in patients having a higher risk of diseases affecting the blood vessels in the heart and brain.
Leveraged funding: Importantly, the money that has been raised for Breathing Matters has allowed us to carry out some early seed projects. The results of these early studies have then allowed us to leverage an additional two million pounds from other sources including the Medical Research Council, The British Lung Foundation, The National Institute for Health Research and the Biomedical Research Centre since 2012. This means that, for every pound contributed to Breathing Matters, we have leveraged another £4 that will all be put towards finding better treatments for patients.
It was lovely to see so many of you at our #Breathtember Patient/Supporter Pulmonary Fibrosis/Interstitial Lung Disease Focus Group in September and our Patient/Supporter Bronchiectasis Meeting in October. At the ILD event, Dr Porter along with our fabulous clinical fellows and scientists presented their integral and very interesting research work into PF and ILD. The ILD focus group discussed future areas of research into these conditions. The scientists loved meeting everyone at the ILD Meeting and one scientist said that meeting you helped ‘motivate us to do more and do it better and quicker’. At the Bronchiectasis Evening, Professor Brown explained what we know about bronchiectasis and what we still need to find out; and, importantly, how Breathing Matters can help. This was followed by a lively Q+A session when Professor Brown answered some in-depth questions on the treatment of the disease.
We have had two successful fundraising events in 2017, Cyclotopia and our Christmas Concert.
Cyclotopia is a bike fest of FUN events at the Lee Valley Olympic VeloPark from road cycling, mountain trail and track cycling. It’s for all ages and experience. This year’s event is on Sunday, 20th May 2018 – mark it in your diary now. Click here for news from last year’s Cyclotopia.
Our Christmas Concert is held in the iconic St Paul’s Actors Church in Covent Garden, which in itself is worth a visit. We are entertained by the renowned and internationally acclaimed Holst Singers and we also have celebrity readers. It is a fantastic way to start off the festive season Watch out for next December’s date. Click here for a roundup of last year’s concert.
If you haven’t attended these events yet, please consider coming along during 2018. We are proud of these bespoke events; and, as they are so different, they should appeal to all of you!
Awareness is continuing to increase. People are starting to notice pulmonary fibrosis and lung infection / bronchiectasis. Let’s continue the good work. Our supporters on the website, facebook and twitter have now increased to a potential 4000 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. Perhaps you could wear our stylish pin badges – email us to purchase these. 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 newspapers during the last year.
All of us from Breathing Matters hope you have a Happy and Healthy New Year !