A BLACKTOWN resident with emphysema is competing in the Sun-Herald City 2 Surf on Sunday August 12 to raise awareness of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
Roy Martin, 55, and his wife, Debbie are running again this year in the Australian Lung Foundation singlets with their children cheering them on from the sidelines.
They will be among 85,000 people who raised more than $1.9 million for 650 charities by participating in the 14-km race from Hyde Park to Bondi.
COPD is commonly known as chronic bronchitis or emphysema.
Mr Martin first competed in the inaugural City 2 Surf fun run back in the 1971 at the age of only 14 and has competed in nine events since then.
After ignoring his symptoms for many years, Mr Martin quit smoking after being diagnosed in 2007.
‘‘I smoked for 40 years. I started smoking at 11 while attending boarding school and maintained a 35 cigarette per day habit for many years,’’ he said.
‘‘At the time of diagnosis, I played softball, although I struggled to run between bases.
‘‘Now through proper management of my condition, I can easily complete the run.’’
The Australian Lung Foundation says Mr Martin is an inspiration to other sufferers around Australia as this disease affects almost one in five Australians above the age of 40.
Anyone wishing to take part can still register through the Gold Charity Entry category where participants choose from a list of 92 charities to participate and raise funds.
About 2000 Gold Charity entrants will line up in front of the Westpac Yellow group on College Street and set off following The Sun-Herald (Red) starters.
- The Australian Lung Foundation estimates that about 2.1 million Australians have some form of COPD or one in five Australians over 40.
- Half of those with moderate to severe COPD do not know they have it.
- It is a deadly long term disease of the lungs which causes shortness of breath.
- COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in Australia.
For more information about COPD, visit www.lungfoundation.com.au.