WELCOME, N.C. (January 21, 2013) — Armed with the memory of his late grandfather and a desire to promote healthy living, Richard Childress Racing driver Austin Dillon has joined the DRIVE4COPD campaign to raise awareness about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a serious and progressive lung disease that is the third leading cause of death of Americans.
DRIVE4COPD will serve as an associate sponsor of the No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet driven by Dillon in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and as a major associate sponsor of the No. 33 Honey Nut Cheerios Chevrolet driven by Dillon in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in this year’s Daytona 500.
“It means a lot to be able to work with DRIVE4COPD, a campaign of the COPD Foundation,” said Dillon. “It’s an honor to play a small part in helping to raise awareness about COPD and work towards improving the quality of people’s lives.”
COPD takes one life every four minutes and kills more people each year than breast cancer and diabetes combined. Dillon’s paternal grandfather, Stan Dillon, passed away from COPD in May 2012, prompting the NASCAR driver to join the DRIVE4COPD health initiative.
“My Paw Paw was an outdoorsman his entire life but as his COPD progressed, he could do less and less. It made it really hard because we couldn’t enjoy the outdoors together or do other active things,” said Dillon. “It was tough watching my grandfather live with his illness and I know that other families are dealing with the same issues. Seeing the DRIVE4COPD initiative within NASCAR gives me hope that by raising awareness, I can help other families understand COPD and screen for the disease.”
Currently, half of the estimated 24 million Americans who may be living with COPD remain undiagnosed. Dillon will play a role in encouraging all Americans aged 35 or older to log onto www.drive4copd.org/screener to take a brief, five-question screener to see if they might be at risk for COPD. If the screener indicates risk, patients are encouraged to take the next step and speak with their healthcare professional or call the C.O.P.D. Information Line (1-866-316-2673) to discuss what their score may mean. Because COPD is a progressive disease that causes irreversible lung damage, early diagnosis and disease management are critical to helping patients breathe better in the future.
“We are thrilled that Austin Dillon has joined the DRIVE4COPD team as its honorary ambassador,” said John W. Walsh, COPD Foundation president and co-founder. “With Austin’s support, we know we can reach people to promote early diagnosis as a means to slowing the progression of COPD.”
For additional information on today’s announcement, and all that’s happening at RCR, please visit rcrracing.com.
The DRIVE4COPD campaign is a landmark public health initiative led by the COPD Foundation, working to help individuals determine their risk and recognize the signs and symptoms of COPD and take action. More than 2.5 million Americans have assessed their risk for COPD through a brief, five-question risk screener (www.drive4copd.org/screener). DRIVE4COPD is spreading the message that, when diagnosed, COPD is treatable, and individuals with COPD can lead full and productive lives.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is also known as chronic bronchitis, emphysema or both. This disease makes it harder to breathe because less air is able to flow in and out of the lungs.
As many as 24 million Americans may have COPD – even those who haven’t smoked in years – and half of them remain undiagnosed. Common symptoms of COPD include coughing, with or without mucus, shortness of breath, wheezing and chest tightness. These symptoms are often confused with normal signs of aging or being out of shape. As COPD progresses,
symptoms tend to get worse and more damage occurs in the lungs. Breathing gradually becomes more difficult until people with COPD feel like they are inhaling and exhaling through a small straw.
About Richard Childress Racing
Richard Childress Racing (www.rcrracing.com) has earned more than 200 victories and 14 championships, including six in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with the legendary Dale Earnhardt. RCR was the first organization to win championships in the Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Its 2013 Sprint Cup Series lineup includes Paul Menard (No. 27 Menards Chevrolet), Kevin Harvick (No. 29 Budweiser/Rheem/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet) and Jeff Burton (No. 31 Caterpillar/Cheerios Chevrolet). Its Nationwide Series program includes Brian Scott (No. 2 Shore Lodge/Armour Vienna Sausage/Fast Fixin’/Charter/Husky Liners Chevrolet), 2012 Nationwide Series rookie of the year Austin Dillon (No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet) and an all-star driver lineup on the No. 33 Menards/Rheem/WESCO/Armour Vienna Sausage/Hunt Brothers Pizza/Fast Fixin’ Chevrolet team. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series program will consist of 2012 Camping World Truck Series rookie of the year Ty Dillon (No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet) and Brendan