PERF board member and Executive Vice President Mary Burns, RN, BS, recently shared the story of Roxlyn “Lyn” Cole, a long-time COPD patient who’s an inspiration to us all. Lyn was featured in the Denver Post for her participation in the American Lung Association’s “Fight For Air” climb. Lyn climbed more than 1,000 steps and placed third in her age group. For 14 years, Lyn has been on supplemental oxygen 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but it certainly has not tied her down. In the years since being diagnosed with COPD and starting on supplemental oxygen, Lyn has walked ten half marathons, climbed Mt. Evans, finished the Boulder Bolder, and participated in several 5K’s. She even goes swimming with oxygen.
Supplemental Oxygen Is a Lifeline, Not a Leash
Says Lyn, “No one should give up on a disease. Use oxygen! The tubing is a lifeline, not a leash.”
In an update email, Lyn confirmed that she continues to maintain an active life with COPD, thanks to a commitment to exercise and her regular use of supplemental oxygen. She wrote:
Goes to show 12+ years of moving finally gets recognized. It was actually 1,098 steps up (56 stories)… whoopee do! My head is a bit swollen :>)
I attribute my terrific health with COPD etc. to optimal use of supplemental oxygen – without that, I wouldn’t be able to do anything… Hate it that they say folks should keep sats (saturation levels) at 90-92%. That might make one live longer but certainly not fun – just good for sitting or sleeping. Why shouldn’t patients have “normal” sats? it works for me.
I’m still walking an hour, or average almost 5,000 steps, per day. That little fit bit amazingly challenges me to do more :>)