Medical research to study chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

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A foundation run in the name of Hollywood legend Paul Newman is helping fund medical research in Kent.

It’s called the Newman’s Own Foundation and is financed from sales of the star’s world famous foods, including his salad dressings.

It has donated over £230 million to thousands of charities around the world so far.

Newman was a movie icon for his roles in films like Cool Hand Luke, The Hustler, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Now the Pilgrims Hospices has been granted £6,500 to fund research that will help people affected by terminal lung disease.

They said the star’s charity recognises the importance of its Kent-based research into ensuring people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, known as COPD, receive the same consistent high quality of care as other patients.

Dr Declan Cawley is pioneering a model of care that will significantly improve the care available to people with COPD.

This is a debilitating illness with a range of acute symptoms such as breathlessness, pain, fatigue, reduced mobility, depression and anxiety.

He said: “This development has the potential to improve the quality of life for people living with COPD as well as provide meaningful support for carers. If the proposed COPD model of care gains the approval of patients and carers then it has the potential to be adopted throughout the UK and beyond.”

The funding was won thanks to the work of James Acton, director of The Brand Nursery.

He connected Pilgrims Hospices to the Newman foundation, and said: “My father received his end-of-life care at Pilgrims Hospices and we just wanted to try to do something meaningful and valuable for the charity.

“We work with Newman’s Own in the UK and the US and we were delighted to introduce Pilgrims to funding that may have otherwise been difficult to find. It’s also what my father would have done to say a big thank you.”

Steve Auty is chief executive of Pilgrims, which has units in Canterbury, Ashford and Westgate-on-Sea. He said: “This is a very important development for anybody living with COPD and we are grateful for the generosity of Newman’s Own Foundation for their vital help.”

Requiring funds of £9 million a year, the hospices provide palliative care for adults with a range of illnesses that cannot be cured including cancer, heart failure, respiratory conditions and neurological diseases, and was founded in 1982.

Anyone wanting to help support Dr Cawley’s work can phone Yvonne on 01843 233922.

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