Barbara is a former college Business and Accounting professor who now blogs about and advocates for others with COPD and also runs a small bookkeeping business.
Having been born prematurely, living in an industrial city, having a history of blood clots in her lungs, and being a pack-a-day smoker almost ensured Barbara's chances of having COPD. Looking back, she realized that she was likely experiencing symptoms of COPD for at least 10 years before she received an official diagnosis.
After her diagnosis in 2016 – just on the cusp of her 60th birthday – she recognized a lack of community and peer support for people living with COPD and saw an opportunity to use her own platform and experiences to give a voice to others like her. Her blog, Catch Your Breath 60, was born soon after.
Through her blog and other outreach efforts, Barbara is working to create a chronic illness community that uses its voice to get the best care possible by utilizing the expertise of the people who suffer. She’s learned through support and rehab that life with chronic illness is easier with a positive attitude. She practices mindfulness and uses meditation on a daily basis to gain a sense of gratitude. Barbara also co-chairs a local peer support group through Ontario Lung. They meet locally once a month.
Barbara was born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and still resides there with her husband of 42 years, three children and one grandson.