TAMPA, Fla. – Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) affects 24 million people in the United States, and with standard of care for chronic lung disease remaining unchanged for over a decade, advancements in regenerative medicine have led a number of people with COPD to opt for alternative treatment methods such as stem cell therapy. The Lung Institute in Tampa is the leader in treating select pulmonary conditions using autologous stem cell therapy, which refers to the use of stem cells derived from a patient’s bone marrow or blood. The Lung Institute Tampa recently celebrated treating 3,000 patients since opening three years ago.
Kathleen B. of Amherst, OH, recently received stem cell treatment for COPD from the Lung Institute in Tampa. Unable to enjoy the simple pleasures of life, Kathleen decided with her husband to try stem cell therapy from the Lung Institute.
“We quit going out to eat because I would come out, and I would be exhausted,” she said. “I would get out into the foyer of the restaurant and I would be gasping, so we quit going out to dinner, and we quit doing a lot of things because I just couldn’t do them anymore. And I think most people can relate who have breathing problems.”
Kathleen and her husband understood the treatment might not be successful, but decided it was their best option.
“Everybody’s skeptical. I was skeptical,” her husband said. “At the onset, we were anxiously awaiting to see some improvement. And as time passed, we did see some improvement. And it got to the point where, in Kathleen’s words, ‘I almost feel normal.’”
November is National COPD Awareness Month, created to raise awareness about a disease with staggering death rates that receives surprisingly little attention. People die from COPD every day, but because COPD is seen as a self-inflicted result of smoking, people tend to be less sympathetic. Many people don’t realize that not everyone with COPD is a current or ex-smoker. “About twenty percent of folks with COPD never smoked,” says Byron Thomashow, MD, medical director at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital in New York and chairman of the COPD Foundation. “And in some parts of the world, this number is higher.”
When faced with a deadly illness like COPD, a strong support group is imperative. To facilitate such support, and to help raise awareness about this debilitating condition, the COPD Foundation created a downloadable social media kit and launched the #GoOrange campaign.
“It almost takes a team to get through this type of illness,” said Kathleen’s husband. “If you’ve got a good team, then you’re ok.”
“And we have a good team,” Kathleen said.
About the Lung Institute
The Lung Institute is the leading medical provider of regenerative cellular therapy for lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis and interstitial lung disease in the United States. To date the organization has treated over 3,000 patients. The Lung Institute’s in-house outcomes summary shows that 84.5 percent of COPD patients studied saw an improvement in their quality of life. In 2013, the Lung Institute in Tampa, Fla. opened. Now, the Lung Institute operates clinics in Tampa, Fla., Nashville, Tenn., Scottsdale, Ariz., and Pittsburgh, Pa. and Dallas, Texas. For more information, please visit http://www.lunginstitute.com or call (800) 382-8095.