‘Breathless’ Campaign, to Raise Awareness of IPF, Launched by Musician Joe Nichols and Boehringer Ingelheim

‘Breathless’ Campaign, to Raise Awareness of IPF, Launched by Musician Joe Nichols and Boehringer Ingelheim

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals and country music artist Joe Nichols are launching a national education campaign called Breathless aimed at raising awareness for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), its symptoms, and the importance of an early diagnosis and treatment.

IPF is a chronic interstitial lung disease affecting the tissue that supports the alveoli in the lungs. It is characterized by inflammation and accumulation of scar tissue (fibrosis), leading to progressive loss of elasticity, failure of proper lung activity, and insufficient oxygen to the blood and organs. The disease is of unknown origin, with no cure. IPF clinical course and progression is varies among patients, and the trajectory and rate of decline are difficult to predict at diagnosis.

Diagnosing IPF is often difficult because several of its symptoms, such as breathlessness, cough, and fatigue, are similar to other more common diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Early diagnosis is very  important for patients, as the available therapies, such as supplemental oxygen, cough management, pulmonary rehabilitation, and recent FDA-approved drugs, can make a difference in the quality of life and health of people living with IPF.

The “Breathless: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at IPF” campaign will include educational content, such as videos and social media material to inform people about IPF and encourage those who suspect they might have the condition to get diagnosed as soon as possible. Organizers also encourage those with IPF to share their stories on the website, in Facebook, on Twitter, and on YouTube to help those in need.

These stories include Joe Nichols’ father, who suffered for three years with symptoms before being diagnosed. He died at age 46 from IPF-related complications.

“Oftentimes I look back on the last two decades with bittersweet feelings because just when my music career was taking off, my father’s health was declining,” said the artist in a press release. “The breathlessness he experienced affected him to the point where he couldn’t walk across the room without becoming short of breath. Sadly, it took three years before my father was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and he eventually lost his fight at a young age. It’s important for me to share my story to help others, because I don’t want people to go through the physical and emotional difficulties my family did during those years before he was eventually diagnosed.”


  1. I was diagnosed with IPF in November after a lung biopsy. I went about a year and a half of falling out all the time. I love working in the yard mowing and planting flowers and caring for them. I love landscaping. I went out last week and did some of these things and had a flare up and still down. It’s so frustrating. I have 2 young Grandchildren I try to play with and give out of breath. This disease is no joke. I’ve had 2 exacerbation s and thought I was gonna die. Please take care of yourself.

  2. norsnna george says:

    my mother had if she lived 9 years after diagnosis she smoked 2 packs a day she did pass away not form if from cancer lung and bone spreading to her brain as well my 48 year old cousin passed dup to ipf as well as her dad I would like to be part of your crusade

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