by Rich Casaburi, President, PERF
Those of you above a certain age (25 or so, I’d guess) will instantly recognize one of the two people in the picture on this page. It is Ted Koppel, one of the most respected figures in television journalism, who for 25 years hosted “Nightline” on ABC. He retired from this position in 2005 but continues to be active as a special contributor to CBS News Sunday Morning.
But Ted is only half of this “power couple”. His wife, Grace Anne Dorney Koppel, is someone you should know as well. A lawyer by training, Grace Anne has a special connection to the COPD community. Grace Anne was diagnosed with COPD over 20 years ago and, since then, has taken it as her mission to advance COPD care. You can see more about her story in this short video. She has been a strong advocate for pulmonary rehabilitation and used her family foundation to establish more than a dozen pulmonary rehabilitation programs in communities of high need for the service. These have been located mostly in rural Appalachia and continue to improve the lives of thousands of COPD patients.
I want to direct you to Koppels’ latest project, COPDSOS. This is a brand-new website, recently launched to inform and educate about COPD. One of its major messages concerns the “missing millions”: the huge number of Americans who have COPD but don’t know it. If you want to get a lung function test at no cost to you, and you live in Los Angeles or Orange County, you may want to contact our PERF-supported research team at The Rehabilitation Clinical Trials Center in Torrance, CA.
Other features at COPDSOS are discussions of the risk of COVID-19 to the COPD community and the need to get vaccinated. There is a recorded message from Dr. Tony Fauci that amplifies these concerns. Also featured are a number of interviews of people afflicted with COPD; their stories are both concerning and inspiring. The Koppels hope to get thousands of people to take the risk assessment questionnaire and to sign on to the funding Awareness Campaign for COPD. Links to other COPD resources are provided (including the PERF website!).
Our hats are off to the Koppels. Please be sure to check out their latest project.