Bereaved husband to spearhead campaign

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A bereaved husband has spoken out to raise awareness of the deadly disease which claimed his wife’s life.

Derek Brooks, 66, from Brighouse, lost his wife Jenny just before Christmas last year after she was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

The couple had never heard of the condition before and found it difficult to access information and support. Since losing Jenny, Derek and his family have been determined to help the British Lung Foundation raise awareness of this devastating condition.

“There is a real lack of awareness, which is worrying given the devastating impact it has on so many lives, including Jenny’s,” said Derek.

“I am very passionate about raising the profile of lung disease so that those affected can access the information and support they deserve.”

This week, The British Lung Foundation will have an awareness week for the disease, with the theme #ICareAboutIPF.

IPF causes a gradual scarring of the lungs and has been on the rise in the UK for decades. It now kills more than 5,000 people a year – more than conditions such as leukaemia.

Derek has represented the charity at an event in Parliament where he met his MP Chris Whittaker, calling for a co-ordinated effort among politicians and policy-makers to prioritise respiratory diseases.

Ruth Sabella, IPF Manager at the British Lung Foundation, said: “As rates of IPF continue to rise, we need to see significant improvements in service provision and research into the disease. With the help of people like Derek, the BLF is determined to raise awareness of these important issues to ensure that people affected by IPF get the help and support they need.”

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