I don’t follow car racing (I mean, I don’t follow it with extreme prejudice), but I have of course heard of Danica Patrick — I mean you can’t hardly get away from those Go Daddy! commercials of hers.
Anyway, I saw an ad in this week’s Sports Illustrated with her in it, for a campaign called “Drive4COPD.” I thought that was pretty cool. COPD is a little understood disease that doesn’t get a great deal of publicity even though it kills nearly as many smokers as lung cancer (COPD among non-smokers is exceedingly rare. A lot of people in the mining industry also get it.). The campaign’s symbol is an orange and purple pinwheel.
COPD is a collection of lung function diseases that a few years ago got lumped together in one category — emphysema, chronic bronchitis being the main two. It kills more than 100,000 Americans a year … the No. 4 killer in America.
I went to the web site, I hadn’t heard of it before. The other celebrities involved in the campaign are Patty Loveless, Bruce Jenner and Michael Strahan. The whole point of the campaign is to educate people about COPD and identify more people who are likely suffering it but aren’t even aware of it (symptoms are constant lung and respiratory infections, constantly coughing up gunk, and a chronic cough.)