Welcome to my #MyLungLife (Hockey) Challenge page!
This summer, I’m supporting the Lung Health Foundation by participating in the #MyLungLife (Hockey) Challenge.
I've been lucky enough to have my research supported by funding from the Lung Health Foundation and this continued support has helped me build a group of exceptional researchers and quickly pivot to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
When I first started my lab, I was funded to study how my favourite immune cell, the macrophage, recognized lung pathogens. Subsequently, I was funded to bring on a talented post-doctoral fellow to study which changes in the aging immune system increased susceptibility to pneumonia. We made a number of key discoveries, one of which was the fact that inflammation that increases with age impairs the ability of immune cells to recognize lung pathogens. By this time my research program was growing rapidly to include undergraduate, graduate and graduate students and with another investment from the LHF, I was able to recruit a post-doctoral fellow from Germany to understand expand our studies to understand how the microbes that live on and in us can cause inflammation and ultimately impair our immune systems. My work has primarily focused on older adults by most recently I've partnered with an expert in early life to understand how our immune system is programmed before birth and how that increases the risk of in infection in later life.
Lung research is underfunded compared to other diseases but as a result of this continued funding, my lab has the expertise in aging and lung infections that has allowed us to contribute to the fight against COVID-19. If I hadn't had this steady support of the LHF over the years, I would not have the base of expertise to draw upon. For this reason, I urge you to dig deep and support our fundraising efforts that will ultimately improve the lung health of the 1 in 5 Canadians living with lung disease.
The LHF provides programs and services, advocates provincially and federally and supports research. By donating in support of my efforts, you're supporting LHF programs like Fitness for Breath, which keeps people living with serious respiratory conditions stay fit and active in their communities.
I may not be a hockey fan, but I know that working out is so important for healthy lungs and a healthy immune system so my #LungLife challenge will be to exercise every day for the month of July.
Please help me reach my fundraising goal!
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