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The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) estimates that 12 million adults have COPD, and another 12 million are un-diagnosed or developing COPD. COPD is the third leading cause of death in the U.S., accounting for 143,382 deaths in 2011 (over 3 times as many people as breast cancer). COPD kills more women than men each year. COPD is now understood to be a complex disease with multiple comorbidities that can lead to frequent infections, hospital admissions, and mortality. A person with COPD dies every four minutes in the U.S. COPD cost the U.S. economy $40 billion, in direct and indirect costs in 2011. With a rising economic burden, now estimated at approximately $50 billion annually, there is a disproportionately low level of research funding allocated to this preventable progressive disease. See the COPD Funding Chart.
COPD has a severely limiting effect on our quality of life. People can live weeks without food, days without water, but only minutes without oxygen. The oxygen assisted exercise maintenance provided by PEP contributes greatly to the quality of life of those afflicted. Quite simply, we need more funds to help more people.
About Our Program
PEP Pioneers are an independent group of graduates of the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program at Providence Little Company of Mary Hospital. The PEP Pioneers was organized in February 1978, as a non-profit organization to provide ongoing support for the graduates. The organization provides a channel of communication between members, the medical center, and the general public. They are dependent on private donations and fundraisers to finance events and purchase equipment that benefit all of their members. We always accept donations, please send to the PEP Pioneers, attn: Pulmonary Rehab, 20929 Hawthorne Blvd., Torrance, CA 90503.
PEP Pioneers afford an opportunity for members, their family members and caregivers to meet for fellowship, luncheons, respiratory information, and pulmonary maintenance and exercise. It also assists by purchasing useful pulmonary equipment, and by making charitable donations to other worthwhile causes. Today we are lacking the necessary equipment to maintain and support our growing community.