Facing Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), One Breath At A Time

Barbara Barr-Haylock is the Vice-chair of the Canadian Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, and as someone who knows firsthand what it’s like to live with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), Barbara has worked tirelessly to provide information and education to others affected by this disease.

With a family history of lung disease, Barbara was alerted to health changes in 2005 and 2008, unfortunately without a proper diagnosis – an all too common experience. It would be two more years, in 2010 before she would receive her initial diagnosis of pulmonary fibrosis and then two more years before she would receive a confirmation of the type of PF – Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis or IPF, is a disease with a survival rate worse than many cancers. In fact, the average survival rate of a person with IPF is two to five years from diagnosis.

This past June, Barbara received the gift of a new right lung but still lives with IPF in her left lung. She credits her almost seven years living with IPF to many factors, but most particularly, believing that knowledge is power and that patients must be proactive about their health care. In addition, Barbara recognizes the importance of the care at Toronto General Hospital’s ILD/PF Clinic, and the approval of two IPF drugs that slow down the progression of the scarring. And front and center is her husband Malcolm Haylock. Together, they traveled the IPF road. Barbara says: “It’s a WE journey, not a ME journey.”

Barbara is truly committed to sharing her knowledge about IPF, both as someone directly affected, and because of her passion to educate and help others. She is truly grateful to be able to share her story.


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