In February 2009, Judy decided enough was enough. She quit smoking. After smoking heavily for many years, she used Champix to successfully break free from her cigarette addiction. Despite her efforts, she was diagnosed with lung cancer in May of 2009. She had part of her lung removed and, thankfully, Judy survived this cancer scare.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a respiratory disease that causes chronic inflammation in the lungs. It causes obstructed airflow from the lungs, leaving patients out of breath and feeling like they are suffocating. COPD can lead to heart attacks and lung cancer. COPD is caused by long-term exposure to irritating gases, most commonly cigarette smoke. There is currently no cure for COPD.
Fast forward to 2020 and Judy again, is experiencing lung problems. Stage 4 COPD this time. Bed-ridden and unable to finish a sentence without being out of breath, she was at her wits’ end.
Then a post on Facebook sparked Judy’s attention. She saw an ad for a COPD trial, a research study testing novel treatment options. Judy applied immediately and met all the qualification criteria. She was accepted into the trial.
Do you cope with COPD and would you like to learn more about novel treatment options currently being studied by the Medical Arts Health Research Group?
Read the interview below to learn more about Judy’s experience of participating in a clinical research trial.
After you were accepted into the study, what happened?
“I was introduced to a miracle drug. That’s what I call it. Since I’ve been receiving medication, I can take deep breaths. I can speak a whole sentence without running out of air. And I can walk across my house pain free and without my walker or wheelchair!
I’m continuing to work on my stamina because I was bed-ridden for at least a year. So, the muscles forgot what they’re supposed to do. So, now we are retraining them.”
How did you manage your COPD before this study?
“Previously I was on Home Oxygen Therapy. Not because my levels were low, but because I couldn’t get the CO2 out of my system. I used this as my crutch, when I panicked and felt like I was running out of air, I needed my crutch! And now, I am off this completely!
I also used a Nebulizer and Salbutamol. Now, I’m very happy to report, I have not used the Nebulizer at all. I haven’t used Salbutamol except when we do the spirometry test. Other than that, I don’t use it.”
How have you experienced participating in a clinical study so far? Were you nervous initially?
“No, I wasn’t nervous. I had a good feeling about it. I am a pretty intuitive person and when I get these feelings, I follow up on them because they are usually right on the money! So, anybody that’s considering participating, I would highly recommend it. I have a friend in West Virginia that has COPD but unfortunately, this program isn’t offered in the US. But I told her, if you ever get an offer to participate in a trial, jump on it!”
How often do you go to the clinic for your treatment?
“I get an injection every two weeks. There was also the option to give myself injections at home and come in once a month. But I enjoy coming to the clinic and meeting with the people there. They are friendly, courteous and knowledgeable.
After the program ends, I will have a six month follow up, which is awesome, and they don’t just dump you, they follow through. I am very thankful to the people who are administering my medications at the clinic, they are wonderful!”
Is there any advice that you would give other people struggling with COPD?
“Once this medication is on the market, for them to contact their doctor to see getting on it. As I said, to me, it’s a miracle. And of course, if there’s still smoking. Quit, immediately.”
Thank you, Judy, for participating in this interview and sharing your experience with us!
If you are interested in participating in a clinical study, go to our Current Studies page for an overview of all our clinical studies.