Receiving a medical diagnosis can often be an anxious time. Even if the news might be expected, there are always unknowns, gaps in knowledge and experience that can in some ways be more troubling than the diagnosis itself; when we don’t know what to expect, our minds can fill in those blanks with the worst possible scenarios.
It is in these gaps, too, that the voluntary sector grows. Where there is need is where the seeds of new projects are sown, and so you will find many peer support groups, often built around specific illnesses, conditions, or challenges. One such group, relatively new to the area, is the Morecambe Bay Pulmonary Fibrosis Support Group.
Pulmonary Fibrosis is a condition in which the lungs become scarred and breathing. It is relatively rare, affecting up to 20 people per 100,000 globally, and usually affects people over 70. Very rarely is affects people under 50.
Finding support, especially for rarer conditions, can prove challenging, but it can be life-changing to be part of a group of people who are all living with the same illness. Peer support can help you to better understand your condition and help you to navigate life post-diagnosis.
But as difficult as it can be to find a support group locally, it is also a challenge to set up and run one, usually because finding people to support the activities of the group often relies on an existing awareness of, and perhaps experience of, the condition itself.
Right now, the Morecambe Bay Pulmonary Fibrosis Support Group is in need of a new trustee to join their existing board of four, as well as support volunteers to help run their regular in-person and online support groups. For the trustee role they are particularly looking for someone with experience of running a charity, or with accounting skills, to compliment the other trustees form medical, charity, and business backgrounds.
If you are interested in finding out more, you can contact Lancaster District CVS. If you are looking for a support group for some other life-affecting condition, we may also be able to help you find the one that you need.