About our Founder, Robert Davidson

Robert Davidson started the Canadian Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (CPFF) in 2009. Robert was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in 2007, after noticing a breathing problem while completing his annual fitness test for Class 2 soccer referees, his favourite activity aside from his life as a Chartered Accountant and proud father of two.

The diagnosis shook his family. Robert and his family had no prior knowledge of the disease, and a quick Internet search showed he not only had a very poor prognosis, but also there was no evidence of any Canadian support network. They were of course concerned and felt alone and Robert assumed others who had received this diagnosis felt the same. There was nowhere to go in Canada.

He pledged to never surrender.

The next few years entailed many routine appointments and tests. Sadly, in 2009, a heavy chest cold sent his disease into a downward spiral, forcing him to leave his accounting practice. This setback gave way to Robert’s new plan, to find a way to help others with this dreadful disease. That year, he started the CPFF. That same year, Robert learned he was in end-stage IPF, and in critical need of a lung transplant.

Luckily, in early 2010, Robert received two new lungs at Toronto General Hospital. During his recovery, he spent time learning about his disease, and discovered there was little research funding for pulmonary fibrosis even though an estimated 4,000 people die from it each year in Canada. With his growing strength, Robert chose to focus all his time to the CPFF. Starting at first by fielding calls and emails from other patients looking for support, and relying on family and friends for help with fundraising dinners and golf tournaments, Robert went on to build an organization that has significantly improved awareness for pulmonary fibrosis in Canada and worldwide. In the first six years of the CPFF, Robert enabled the foundation to make research grants across Canada approximating $800,000 to date and this number continues to rise. In addition almost $500,000 has been spent on patient support and education.

Due to Robert’s leadership, and support of the Toronto General Hospital Research Foundation, a stand-alone IPF Research Centre was established, resulting in major advances in the knowledge of IPF causes.

As the founder of CPFF, Robert’s ongoing guidance, vision and dedication to Canadians touched by pulmonary fibrosis continues to be unmatched.