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An impressive €20,052 was raised in the second ‘Get Breathless for COPD’ charity event have by fundraisers cycling from Galway to Dublin, in aid of COPD Support Ireland and pulmonary rehabilitation services.

At least 400,000 people in Ireland have COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), 180,000 of whom have moderate or severe disease with only half are likely to be diagnosed.

Leading consultant respiratory physician from the Mater Hospital, Dublin Professor Sean Gaine, who has joined colleagues and patient advocates on the cycle for the past two years, said that their aim was to raise general awareness of the burden of COPD and the need for better pulmonary rehabilitation services in Ireland.

The event, led by cycling legend Sean Kelly, consisted of a two-day cycle across the country.

“It was great to increase awareness about COPD as we cycled across Ireland with the legend Sean Kelly. The money raised is to go directly to patient support, including exercise classes, as there are very few services available in Ireland”, Mr Kelly stated.

“Exercise and pulmonary rehabilitation have been shown to play a really important role in the management of patients with COPD: helping to decrease symptoms, reduce bed-days in hospital, increase exercise tolerance and improve quality of life”.

Francis Lynch, General Manager of A. Menarini Pharmaceuticals Ireland, who support this event, commented: “The ‘Get breathless for COPD’ cycle aims to improve awareness about COPD in Ireland, highlight the importance that exercise plays in improving quality of life for COPD patients and, finally, to raise much needed funds for COPD Support Ireland”.