Country Music Star, Patients, Experts to Appear in Documentary to Air on The Discovery Channel

Patients, Families, Physicians and Researchers Speak Out About Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

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| Source: Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis (CPF)
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WASHINGTON, DC, June 19, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Country Music Star Joe Nichols appears in an upcoming television documentary giving his perspective on Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), the deadly lung disease that claimed his father's life just as his music career was taking off. Nichols, a number one selling artist, along with other celebrities, doctors, patients and family members will appear in the piece produced by Summer Productions and airing on The Discovery Channel at 8:00 a.m. Eastern and 8:00 a.m. Pacific times on June 21st, Check local listings.

Called "Every Breath Counts", the documentary was supported by a grant from Boehringer-Ingelheim.

The documentary premiere was held last night at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. where patients, families and experts gathered to view the documentary for the first time.
Summer Productions released the link for the full documentary today at: http://www.everybreathcountsfilm.com

IPF causes relentless and progressive scarring in the lungs and one that most pulmonary doctors say a fate worse than cancer.  There is no FDA approved treatment and no known way to stop the scarring process of the disease that affects a known 200,000 Americans.

"The hope is getting people passionate about doing something…and raising awareness." Nichols, who couldn't attend the premiere because he is home in Texas with his wife and newborn daughter, says in the documentary's trailer.  Nichols is best known for number one songs, Brokenheartsville, Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off, Gimme That Girl, and Sunny and 75.  

A panel, including patients and physicians interviewed for the piece, took place at the premiere showing and members of Congress, including Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) and Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), spoke about the opportunity to make progress on Capitol Hill that can help move research efforts forward and ultimately save lives.

"My hope is with a documentary like this that members of Congress won't ask 'What is IPF?', but 'What can I do to help?'", said Congressman Paulsen who has co-sponsored legislation supporting IPF research efforts.

IPF presents not only a threat to the lives of patients who are affected now but for the generations who follow them.  There is a growing body of research that shows a strong genetic connection in the disease.

"We want to urge Congress to understand that NIH (National Institutes of Health) is the DOD (Department of Defense) for your children and grandchildren," said Congressman Cohen.  "The children will be the ones to benefit from the research that will find treatments and cures."

George Lapedis, an IPF patient from Memphis, TN who appears in the documentary, lives in Rep. Cohen's district. "I hope the documentary gets a wide televisiton audieince because that will help make people more aware of IPF, he said.  "I hope others will go online to view it and will share it with others.  This is a really wonderful piece and is right on target." Lapedis has the longest running sports radio show in America and spoke on last night's panel.  Speaking out about the disease is something Lapedis says more patients should do.  He told his sports radio fans about his illness last summer and now speaks publicly about IPF on a regular basis.

Experts believe the number of people living with the IPF is actually much higher than has been reported to date.  The first two drugs may be approved for the disease later this year in the shadow of many failed drug trials over the last dozen or so years.

On average, patients die within three years of diagnosis.  Nichols' father, Mike Nichols, died at the age of 46.  Nichols is working with the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis (CPF) to raise awareness of the disease and established the Mike Nichols Fund of Hope with the CPF to raise funds for disease efforts.

The Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis works on a national scale to support research for a cure and to assist patients. For information or to support this important work, please contact the CPF at 1-888-222-8541, or visit www.coalitionforpf.org or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

About Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF)

Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF) is a lung disorder characterized by a progressive scarring – known as fibrosis — and deterioration of the lungs, which slowly robs its victims of their ability to breathe. Approximately 128,000 Americans suffer from PF, and there is currently no known cause or cure. An estimated 48,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. PF is difficult to diagnose and an estimated two-thirds of patients die within five years of diagnosis. Sometimes PF can be linked to a particular cause, such as certain environmental exposures, chemotherapy or radiation therapy, residual infection, or autoimmune diseases such as scleroderma or rheumatoid arthritis. However, in many instances, no known cause can be established. When this is the case, it is called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

About the CPF

The CPF is a 501C(3) nonprofit organization, founded in 2001 to accelerate research efforts leading to a cure for pulmonary fibrosis (PF), while educating, supporting, and advocating for the community of patients, families, and medical professionals fighting this disease. The CPF funds promising research into new approaches to treat and cure PF; provides patients and families with comprehensive education materials, resources, and hope; serves as a voice for national advocacy of PF issues; and works to improve awareness of PF in the medical community as well as the general public. The CPF's nonprofit partners include many of the most respected medical centers and healthcare organizations in the U.S. With more than 28,000 members nationwide, the CPF is the largest nonprofit organization in the U.S. dedicated to advocating for those with PF. For more information please visit www.coalitionforpf.org or call (888) 222-8541.

A photo accompanying this release is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=26044

Teresa Barnes

303-521-4080