It was a symbolic breath of fresh air, as a group of Niagara-on-the-Lake residents gathered to show a gesture of kindness for people who have trouble breathing.
The group gathered early Monday morning at the Queen’s Royal Park gazebo, to blow bubbles in support of people with pulmonary fibrosis.
More than a dozen people showed up at the event, equipped with bubble wands and wearing blue Canadian Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation bracelets.
Members of a local walking group organized the event to honour a friend who suffers from pulmonary fibrosis, and were joined by the members of the Niagara Pulmonary Fibrosis support group.
As September is Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month, a wide range of activities, from blowing bubbles to holding education sessions, are being held across the country to raise awareness and show support to the Canadian Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. The awareness month is also marked in the U. S. and Europe.
People with the disease have troubles breathing, so blowing bubbles is one of the fun ways people are encouraged to show support.
“I just hope more attention is drawn to this disease and shows support of the community,” said Ruth Delaat who attended Monday’s event.
NOTL resident Terry Hardy, who founded the Niagara PF support group, died in December 2018 after battling idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Terry’s wife, Sandra, was at the event blowing bubbles, too.
“It’s wonderful to spread the awareness,” Sandra said. “I’d like to thank The Lake Report because they’ve been so responsive to us, as well as the town council and Lord Mayor Betty Disero for spreading words about IPF.”
Since January 2019, Jack Rapattoni has taken over as chair of the group. Members meet every third Thursday at 11 a.m. at NOTL community centre.
The group is also holding a fundraising “casino night” event on Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. St. John’s Anglican Church in Thorold. Tickets cost $15 and everyone is welcome to attend.