Wigan family out to raise awareness of debilitating illness that killed their mum

A family is desperately trying to raise awareness of the disease that afflicted their late mother for the final years of her life.
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A family is desperately trying to raise awareness of the disease that afflicted their late mother for the final years of her life.

Anne Doran was 66 years old when she died in August, having suffered for years with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, an incurable condition which causes the lungs to scar over time.

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The most common symptoms include shortness of breath, dry coughing and fatigue.

Louise with the awareness mugsLouise with the awareness mugs
Louise with the awareness mugs

She was diagnosed in 2012, and battled the illness for eight years before her death.

Now, her family are calling for more people to learn about the condition, in the hopes that greater awareness will lead to greater fund-raising to find a cure.

Anne’s daughter, Louise, explained how pulmonary fibrosis limited her ability to perform even the simplest daily tasks.

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“Someone at work noticed she was coughing a lot, and said she should get it checked out,” said 40-year-old Louise, who lives with her dad Thomas and sister Jenny.

Anne Doran (centre) before her death with daughters Louse (left), and Jenny, and husband ThomasAnne Doran (centre) before her death with daughters Louse (left), and Jenny, and husband Thomas
Anne Doran (centre) before her death with daughters Louse (left), and Jenny, and husband Thomas

“She had a lung biopsy and diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis.

“Initially, she was doing as much as she could, getting out and about.

“But it progressed, and in the last couple of months progressed quite rapidly.

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“It got that bad that she couldn’t move on the sofa, she couldn’t walk more than three steps.

Much missed: The late Anne DoranMuch missed: The late Anne Doran
Much missed: The late Anne Doran

“She was on 15 litres of oxygen a day, with a mask, a meter on her finger checking her heart rate constantly.

“It’s so debilitating and there’s so many people who are so frightened.

“She was constantly connected to this tube anywhere she went in the house, even when she went to bed.

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“But sometimes even that wasn’t enough. She would have to wear a mask, which made her feel claustrophobic.”

“It’s just awful. She had always done a lot, she was a magistrate, a school governor, and a manager in the NHS.

“She always went walking with my dad, and she went from all that, to not being able to walk three steps.

“There’s no cure and only two drugs available, which only slow down the progression, if you’re lucky.”

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Louise have now launched a bid to raise more awareness of the disease, and how seriously it affects those who are diagnosed with it.

As part of the campaign, she had produced a series of mugs adorned with words and phrases associated with pulmonary fibrosis, which she plans to distribute to people with large social media followings.

She hopes that by doing so, they can spur more people into supporting charities which are working tirelessly to find a cure.

She said: “People don’t realise how bad it is.

“Charities will try to put a positive slant on things, which I can understand, because for the people who have it, you need to remain positive.

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“But at the same time, I think people need to understand what it is.”

To find out more about the condition, visit the Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Aware page.

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