Improving Your Life Starts Today

ERIN POPOVICH ENDOWMENT

Changing What It Means To Live With ILD

For years, Erin Popovich suffered in silence from interstitial lung disease – even those closest to her didn’t know the extent of her pain. As a wife and mother, Erin wanted to protect her loved ones from the struggles that she endured on a daily basis, which wasn’t difficult to do. While they had the full support of her pulmonologist, Erin’s family simply couldn’t find enough information to understand the magnitude of her diagnosis or what they could do to help.

It’s time to rewrite that story.

Seeing Erin live with ILD for ten years taught the Popovich family exactly what other patients need in order to face this devastating diagnosis with dignity and strength. Through their endowment, patients and caregivers will have access to more resources and support than ever before. Their vision is to enable anyone diagnosed with ILD to live a longer, more fulfilling life. In Erin’s memory, your journey towards a more hopeful future starts today.

Honoring a legacy of strength and compassion

The Erin Popovich story

Throughout her illness, Erin suffered quietly and without complaint. She cared only about helping others, wanting to use all of her energy to advocate for patients that may have been less fortunate than her. Always concerned with how people were going to afford their medications or get to their therapy sessions, Erin routinely insisted that her daughter reach out to other ILD sufferers and ask if they needed help. In that spirit, her family is now dedicated to carrying on her legacy through the endowment.


Principle goals of the endowment

Access

Giving patients, families, and caregivers access to ILD specialists and other experts for information and second opinions.


Removing barriers that patients face in obtaining oxygen and specialized medication.

Empowerment

Improving patients’ independence by facilitating their travel to appointments,
local travel, and air travel.


Connecting patients, families, and ILD experts through support groups.

Research

Supporting clinical research grants that enhance understanding of and treatment for ILD.


Exploring patient values to ensure treatments and care meet patient and family expectations.

Finding the path that’s right for you

Even though Erin had access to more resources than most, she still found it difficult to navigate through her illness. So many questions arose at once:

  • “Where do I begin?
  • What information is relevant to me?
  • What should I be thinking about first?”

As her family grappled with these questions, they often felt lost and overwhelmed. Everyone wished they had a better understanding of where to start, but there weren’t many patient-friendly resources available at the time.

After Erin’s death, the Popovich’s knew they needed to find a way to make the journey more manageable for other ILD patients and their families. That’s when TREAT ILD was created.

The very first thing that any person who receives and ILD diagnosis should be thinking about is treatment. From there, you can use each letter as a stepping stone along your journey, ensuring that you’ll find the right path.

It’s important to remember that on some days you may get stuck, and that’s okay. Take it one step at a time, reach out to your care team for support and remember that you are not alone.


A note to Clinicians: this website is intended to help you support your patients as they navigate through their ILD diagnosis. We hope you find this to be a valuable resource. To access additional patient-friendly materials, please visit our Patient education page.

Erin Popovich Endowment

Patients living with ILD are steadily deprived of their ability to breathe, and with that, they are deprived of everything else, including their hope for the future. The Erin Popovich Endowment ensures they’re not also deprived of the support they need to face their diagnosis with courage and strength. Here, we’ll provide the tools patients need to live a life full of the people and places they love.

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The Erin Popovich Endowment, established with the CHEST Foundation, is changing what it means to live with ILD. The CHEST Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the American College of Chest Physicians.

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