Crystal Spencer

Living one short breath at a time

IT was not the longest walk of her life, but it was one of the hardest.

Pottsville emphysema patient Josie Clifford joined 35 fellow members and supporters of Tweedals in Tweed City Shopping Centre on Wednesday to raise awareness of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease(COPD).

COPD covers long-term lung conditions characterised by shortness of breath, such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

“The walk is about raising awareness,” Ms Clifford said.

“People often dismiss shortness of breath as being overweight (amongst other things), but they should always get it checked out.”

Tweedals is a support group for people with chronic lung conditions run out of the Tweed Hospital.

“The gentle exercise classes have been wonderful for me but it’s not just the exercise, it’s about the camaraderie,” she said.

“This is the second year we’ve done the walk to raise awareness. It’s a great cause.”

All together, the walkers set out to march a collective 115km in the centre.

Wearing green shirts and carrying balloons, Ms Clifford and walkers took their awareness campaign to the centre.

They were also joined by Tweed MP Geoff Provest who participated in the walk.

“It’s an amazing thing what they do at Tweedals,” Mr Provest said.

“I spoke with several people who told how last year they couldn’t work 10 minutes without losing their breath, now they can go for an hour.

“It was also good to see families coming out as well to help support their grandparents in this important day.”

November is Lung Health Awareness Month through the Australian Lung Foundation.

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