I was diagnosed with COPD in 2007 after a bout of double pneumonia followed by a bronchostomy. The illness forced me to quit working because of a chronic cough and exacerbations. I learned about LAH through The Lung Centre. It sounded exciting and I enjoy participating in initiatives that I feel confident about.
Mary-Frances has a lot of experience with lung issues. She was diagnosed with asthma in her 30s and more recently learned she has COPD. After graduating (twice!) from the pulmonary rehab program at Vancouver General Hospital, she noticed a lack of support for anyone with lung issues looking to continue being active in the community. This inspired Mary-Frances to start a support group for people dedicated to staying active after rehab. What started as a monthly informal gathering grew into five days per week for exercise maintenance and support during COVID-19 restrictions. She loves finding ways to stay active while living with lung disease.
Mary-Frances was a full-time mother who went into accounting when her husband retired. She now has nine grandchildren and likes to knit, sew, and do puzzles. Originally from Ontario, she now lives in Vancouver.
Santa Chow (co-chair)
Growing up in a household with several heavy smokers, Santa was diagnosed with asthma at the age of three. She still struggles to keep her severe asthma under control. Santa’s professional background is in business development and project management, and more recently as a project manager. She has worked internationally and locally and has a degree in psychology.
Santa is a dedicated volunteer and brings her personal and professional experience to help make things happen. Santa brings many years’ experience as a patient partner for airway health research. She also volunteers with her church and in Vancouver’s various communities. Santa is focused on building strong relationships within the CSC and cares deeply about her fellow members.
Hello everyone! My name is Garry Fedoriuk. I worked in the forest industry for 40 years plus. I sustained a work-related injury and was diagnosed with industrial bronchitis COPD. I’m looking forward to hopefully being an asset to LAH CSC.
Dennis Josey (past co-chair)
In 2008, Dennis was diagnosed with severe (15% lung capacity) COPD and Emphysema. In May 2016, he received a lifesaving double lung transplant. Because he believes that ‘actions speak louder than words,’ Dennis has been using his educational and professional experience in education and community development to express appreciation for his lung transplant. He works with community groups in policy/program/project development and training delivery to advocate for those with lung diseases. Dennis’ recent volunteer lung advocacy activities include a lead role in respiratory training videos, initiating the online Better Breathers Support Group with BC Lung Association ‘to share patient experiences, provide support and learn more about COPD, other Lung Diseases and their Caregivers,’ and being a guest speaker for the St. Paul’s Hospital Pulmonary Rehab education program. He has been featured in multiple articles published by the BC Lung Association, St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation, and the Vancouver West End Seniors Network, and has participated in educational webinars with researchers and physicians. Most recently, Dennis has led efforts to start Lung Transplant House BC (LTHouse BC), a patient-driven program with support from the BC Lung Association that assists pre/post lung transplant patients and caregivers with housing and related expenses incurred from a lung transplant process.
Dennis served as the first CSC co-chair and supported relationship- and team-building of the newly formed Committee through a transition from in-person to virtual engagement.
I was trained in chemical engineering. This led to many years working in laboratories in England and Toronto.
I’ve also had my own business, worked in a major multi-national and, after retirement taught English as a second language in Mexico for nearly five years, at a state-run university.
Now in retirement I have discovered the love of writing. I have published five books and two photo books and am as poor financially as I was when I started. However, I am rich in the joy and experience of creating something very special to me.
Almost by accident I am writing a third novel and have two other projects in line for this winter, I hope. I have to thank my wife, Martha, for all her patience and support during my hours of monkish isolation. Also, for her feedback which has made my writing so much better.
Together we enjoy our garden. Flowers, fruit, and veggies. They all get our undivided attention during the season. And our greenhouse is a source of pleasure in the winter when it is full of multi-coloured geraniums.
It was after my wife, Babz, died of cancer in 2010, that I developed asthma. I try to not let it interfere with my life too much and have had wonderful support from friends and professionals. It is because of this that I became part of Legacy for Airways Health. I believe “paying it forward” is the new term used. Paying back for all the help I have had and maybe helping others in need.
Born in England, I am now living in Kelowna, via more than thirty years in Toronto. Each time I travel the Okanagan highways I marvel at the beauty of this land and give thanks.
Tiniel first learned about Legacy for Airway Health from one of her doctors. She was diagnosed with COPD in her 30s after a history of substance abuse, but she succeeded in quitting drugs and smoking and she hopes to become eligible for a double lung transplant. Tiniel joined the CSC to learn from other people living with COPD and to share her experience. She is interested in how care is provided for lung patients and is learning how patients like her can contribute to research.
A life-long Vancouver Islander, Tiniel now lives in the interior of BC with her family where she enjoys baking (and baking shows on TV), reading, and helping her neighbours. She is looking forward to doing more volunteer work to help seniors in her community.
Tony Lanier (co-chair)
I’m Tony Lanier and I live in metro Vancouver but I spent many years in New York City and Los Angeles. Besides the economic shifts that were taking place during the 1960s, the quality of air in North America was compromised by the use of coal, leaded auto gasoline products, and nautical diesel output. Fast forward, my asthma worsened and there was a lack of attention controlling the asthma by clinicians and myself. I ignored the symptoms.
I joined the Legacy for Airway Health Community Stakeholder Committee because I believe asthma should be identified early and systematically managed. Furthermore, the sufferers should be properly educated about the condition and receive quality follow-up treatment to help keep asthma under control. Lung ailments shouldn’t be an afterthought. As a member of the CSC, my hope is to bring attention to some of the gaps we’ve experienced and offer ideas that could potentially be used as medical protocols for lung-related illnesses in BC.
Sue Lutz, also known as The Artist Snoozen, has been a member of the CSC from the conception of the idea to present day. She joined the team with the understanding that the struggles she faces in her health battles might assist researchers to understand the patient more effectively. Throughout this first year of Legacy, her role is that of a CSC team member who assists in meetings and participates in research studies.
I am a Health Sciences College Educator and former Nurse Practitioner and Natural Health Practitioner. I have experience working in rural and remote areas (Nunavut) and in a variety of settings and diverse cultures.
My lived experience with chronic respiratory illness, chronic nerve pain (after a sports injury and delayed surgery), and as a cancer survivor, taught me the importance of being an informed patient and an equal partner in health care and decision making. I was a long-time volunteer facilitator and Health Coach for UVic’s self-management programs and still am a “First Link” Peer Support for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
My engagement with the BC SUPPORT Unit and CIHR started as a co-facilitator for the CIHR pilot program for SPOR and later publication of “Co-building a patient-oriented research curriculum.” My interest is in advancing health research; improving health outcomes; and achieving equity, diversity, and inclusion for all. Besides the CSC, I am also a member of Clinical Trials BC and the BC SUPPORT Unit Advisory Council, and co-chair of the Provincial Patient Council.
I’m Sandra Sherbaty. I live in Surrey and I have a son and family with asthma. I am an active participant in the BC Lung Association annual Stair Climb for Clean Air and joined the Legacy for Airway Health Community Stakeholder Committee because I believe together we can raise awareness for airway health through community connection and collaboration. I am a Wellness and Life Coach, passionate and motivated to empower and support the people I work with, the community I live in, and my volunteer communities to live the healthiest life they can.
Dan was born in Vancouver 77 years ago and now lives in Surrey. He was diagnosed with COPD about 10 years ago. COPD didn’t stop Dan’s love of travel and he has found a way to do a lot of overseas travel over the past 8 years. Closer to home, Dan has completed several respiratory disease management courses with Fraser Health, and also shares his story to help other patients live well with COPD.