Lana Biro, certified respiratory educator
When asked to describe the most rewarding aspect of Lana’s job as a certified respiratory educator with the Ontario Lung Association, Lana says "I like making a difference".
Lana works as part of a team of educators who staff The Lung Association’s helpline. A respiratory therapist with a background in critical care, Lana and the helpline team answer questions from patients and their families on a variety of issues related to lung disease, including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Often those calling about IPF are newly diagnosed and upset with this diagnosis. Lana notes that awareness of IPF remains relatively low compared with other diseases. Many people have never heard of the disease until their diagnosis.
One of the first steps in coping with a diagnosis of IPF is getting educated about the disease. “Our IPF patients and their families have so many questions. This disease is such a mystery and it can be overwhelming,” explains Lana. Part of her role as a certified respiratory educator is to help patients better understand and manage their disease. Although there is currently no cure for IPF, there are strategies people can do to conserve energy and make day-to-day living easier.
IPF patients and their families also call the helpline for emotional support. Talking to someone who understands the disease and its challenges can literally be a lifeline.
Lana says more resources and research are needed to support those with IPF – and ultimately find effective treatments. She has been working with The Lung Association to develop new resources and online content based on her experience in supporting IPF patients.
Lana belongs to a special interest group on IPF to stay up-to-date on the latest IPF research and developments. “ I want to help solve the puzzle of IPF.”
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