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Public Statements

Recognizing the Need to Pursue Research into Causes, Treatment and Cure for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


RECOGNIZING THE NEED TO PURSUE RESEARCH INTO CAUSES, TREATMENT AND CURE FOR IDIOPATHIC PULMONARY FIBROSIS -- (House of Representatives - September 28, 2005)

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Mr. KINGSTON. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me time.

Mr. Speaker, I want to say I certainly support this resolution and support all the good work of the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Deal) and the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Norwood), and I think that this is the kind of thing that, if we cannot have more recognition of it, there would not be more success stories like the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Norwood).

I have to say to my good friend from Ohio, who was elected the same year that I was, that we have always enjoyed the great spirit of this House in terms of debate, and we know that it is people like the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Norwood) who add to that debate and make it a lot more fun to be up here, no matter what side you are on. And because the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Norwood) was able to get his new lung, he came out here with a lot of vim and vigor from that class of 1994, and then he got kind of quiet for a while, and I know there are many, maybe on both sides, I cannot say to the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Norwood), but who might wish you were still quiet at times.

But the reality is the gentleman is back, and he is back because he was one of the fortunate miracles. We are just delighted to see the blood is flowing back in his veins and the spirit is back in his heart and the ideas and thoughts are back in his mind.

Yet as we look at the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Norwood) as a miracle, we know that there are lots of folks out there who may not be so fortunate. H. Con. Res. 178 makes it possible for others to know more about IPF, and it raises that recognition so that Congress can help its own internal education process so we can know what we can do and do a lot more studying and try to come up with what the cause is and so forth.

I want to say to the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Norwood), best of luck to you. We all love you and we are glad you are back, and we pray for others in your same situation. I support H. Con. Res. 178.

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POINTS ON BILL

H. Con. Res. 178: Recognizes the need to research cause of, treatment and cure for IPF; Recognizes the work of the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis.

Urges the President to designate an Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Week; Over 50 bipartisan co-sponsors.

IPF

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a serious lung disorder causing progressive, incurable lung scarring. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is the most common form of interstitial lung disease. There is no cure or treatment for this disease. The disease is debilitating and generally fatal, causing an irreversible loss of the lung tissue's ability to transport oxygen to the organs. There is no proven cause of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. There are 83,000 Americans living with this disease and 31,000 are diagnosed each year. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis progresses quickly, often causing disability or death within a few short years. It is often misdiagnosed in the early stages. The median survival rate for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis patients is 2 to 3 years, and about two thirds of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis patients die within 5 years of developing the disease.

COALITION FOR PULMONARY FIBROSIS

The Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis (CPF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, founded in 2001 to further education, patient support and research efforts for pulmonary fibrosis, specifically idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. The CPF is governed by the nation's leading pulmonologists, individuals affected by pulmonary fibrosis, medical research professionals and advocacy organizations. It has more than 8,500 members nationwide, and is the largest nonprofit organization in the country specifically dedicated to helping those with IPF.

CONGRESSMAN NORWOOD

Congressman NORWOOD was diagnosed with IPF in 1998--due to the slow progression of the disease (if caught early) he was able to manage his condition until the summer of 2004.

Despite coming to the top of the transplant list several times in the intervening years, Congressman NORWOOD was judged `too healthy' for a transplant and thus continued his duties in Washington and Georgia.

In the Summer of 2004 Congressman NORWOOD's case began to worsen (as the disease does as it runs its course) and he was forced to pursue the only medical option available to IPF patients; a lung transplant.

CHARLIE received a single lung transplant at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Fairfax, Virginia on October 5, 2004.

While there is no standard recovery model for transplant patients, generally speaking, Congressman NORWOOD's recovery was impressive with him leaving the hospital in short order and continuing his work in Congress by January 2005.

While still needing the assistance of oxygen at times, Congressman NORWOOD continues his recovery and remains an active member of the 109th Congress.

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http://thomas.loc.gov

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