The founder of the Wescoe Foundation for Pulmonary Fibrosis explains why support groups are “one of the most helpful resources for IPF patients today.”
The Wescoe Foundation for Pulmonary Fibrosis provides support, advocacy, and resources for people with PF and their families to sustain the highest possible quality of life.
Ron Wescoe was a committed football and baseball coach. In 2003, he was diagnosed with PF. He and his family were forced to cope with this devastating disease on their own until Ron passed away on October 29, 2004. At the time, there was little information available, few medical resources, and limited support. Ron’s daughter, Jennifer H. Wescoe, founded the non-profit Wescoe Foundation for Pulmonary Fibrosis in 2011 to honor her father and to serve as a resource for the PF community in Eastern Pennsylvania. The organization creates, implements, and facilitates support groups within close proximity to patients.
Wescoe believes support groups are one of the most helpful resources for PF patients. She notes that patients often tell her they find the support they need and that the groups act as a “bridge” to their healthcare team, making it easier to manage their disease. But, she points out in a recent blog post, there are other important reasons to consider attending a support group:*
- Further your disease education on topics such as oxygen therapy, the role of a healthy diet, clinical trial eligibility, and qualifying for lung transplantation. Learn from others’ experiences in a supportive environment that often includes a healthcare professional and where no question is too big or small.
- Find new resources without the added stress of spending countless hours online.
- Feel better by being empowered to become your own advocate and have worthy conversations with your healthcare team. As Wescoe notes, “You are your own best advocate.”
- Feel more connected, realizing you are not alone. Surround yourself with like-minded people who all speak the same language. States Wescoe, “support groups break down barriers of isolation and may help you feel more connected and grounded.” Moreover, they may help depression and anxiety according to research.
The article can be found here.
*Wescoe, J.H. (2017, September 13). Top 4 Reasons to Attend a Support Group. Temple Health.