COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease may not be known by everyone, but it is the 7th highest killer disease in the Philippines. COPD is a progressive lung ailment that makes breathing difficult and invariably leads to death. In the Philippines, there are 17.3 million adult smokers, and 4.2 million Filipinos are diagnosed to have the disease.
Honestly, I am not that familiar with the disease, but at the #MakeTimeForDad event, I found out that this was the disease of Comedy King Dolphy. He was the epitome of a total entertainer whose talent in acting, singing, and dancing was honed through years of experience and hard work.
His talent was equaled only by his work ethic as he lived by the credo “The show must go on” — even after he got sick and was diagnosed with COPD.
Epy and Eric Quizon told heart warming stories about their dad, and how he had lived to make people smile until the disease took his life.
“Dad lived to perform. Even if he was already wheelchair-bound and could barely stand, he would revert back into his old self whenever the cameras started rolling,” shared son Eric Quizon.
The Comedy King was 45 when he was diagnosed with emphysema and when he turned 80, he began carrying an oxygen concentrator everywhere he went. “Our dad was a fighter. He was our general, our commander-in-chief, so watching him get weaker and trying hard just to catch his breath was very difficult for us,” Epy, Eric’s younger brother recalled emotionally.
“The saddest part is seeing how your loved one deteriorates and there is nothing you can do.” Epy said.
Cigarette smoking causes 80% to 90% of COPD cases. Aside from smoking, pollution—both indoor and outdoor—can also cause COPD, according to studies by the World Health Organization. Patients who are suffering from COPD will have symptoms like breathlessness, abnormal sputum by a mix of saliva and mucus, and chronic cough.
As part of the commemoration of World COPD DAY, GlaxoSmithKline and the Philippine College of Chest Physicians (PCCP) are spearheading a new campaign called #MakeTimeForDad.
The campaign encourages family members to upload 30-second videos on Facebook and Instagram stating a list of things they want to do or wish they could have done with their loved fathers. This would serve as a reminder for them to act now if they feel that their loved ones are at risk for COPD, and value each moment they spend with them.
Joining the campaign again are the Quizon brothers Eric and Epy who are honoring their father by fighting the disease that claimed the Comedy King’s life. “Our dad died because of COPD and we just found out it is actually one of the leading causes of death in the country,” says Epy. He also added that they want to educate people by raising awareness of the disease, in hopes that their family’s story can help save someone else’s.
For more information on COPD, visit www.pinoycopd.com.