New group to provide support for those with lung disease

New group to provide support for those with lung disease

For Shirley Dwyer the tipping point came when she was sitting in her car trying to get her breath back after doing her shopping.

Diagnosed with Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency in 2015, an uncommon condition that causes lung disease, Shirley looked up and saw another man with a large oxygen bottle draped over his car, also struggling to get his breath back.

“I thought ‘you poor bugger’, you need some support,” she said.

“I had not had access to a lung disease support group, either in Brisbane or here in Gladstone, and we need it.”

Shirley plans to establish the Gladstone & District Lung Support Group to provide emotional and educational support for those such as herself who suffer from lung disease.

“I want to bring in professionals to talk about diet and exercise, as well as Speech Therapists and Respiratory Specialists,” she said.

“Future planning is, with help from medical experts, to get the pulmonary rehabilitation back up and running.

“I also want to provide support for family, friends and carers as they carry a heavy emotional load as well.”

Shirley said the plan was to hold monthly support meetings unless there was a demand for more frequent meetings.

“The group will also be listed on the Australian Lung Foundation website, and they have been very helpful in getting this support group up and running,” she said.

The first meeting of the Gladstone & District Lung Support Group will take place on August 13 at the Gladstone Men’s Shed, located at 18 Moura Crescent in Barney Point, from 10am.

Anyone with a lung disease is welcome to attend.

For more information contact Shirley on

For more information on lung disease, including signs and symptoms, visit