Robert’s Message


My last annual report as President

I was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis (PF) in October 2007 and was advised to research it on the web.

What I found was shocking.

This is a incurable disease which affects 30,000 Canadians, killing 5,000 each year. Worse than most cancers. Worse, I also discovered that there was no support for Canadians and only about $3,000,000 was spent on research each year. It was as if PF sufferers did not matter.

I took almost two years off to do some bucket list stuff then, in August 2009, I decided to establish a charitable foundation to raise research funds, raise awareness about the disease and provide support to PF patients across Canada.

My son and his friend, with input from me, built our first website in December 2009/January 2010. This went live in February 2010 after I got out of hospital following my double lung transplant.

The result was amazing. There was obviously a pent up need as I started getting emails and phone calls from patients and caregivers across Canada immediately. Since that time I have counselled many, many PF patients and helped them advocate for their health care.

We funded our first research grant in September 2010. This was for $52,000 to Toronto General Hospital to study the relationship between acid reflux and IPF (Idiopathic PF, i.e., PF “of unknown cause”). Since then we have committed almost $1,000,000 to research into the disease.

Over the past 9 years there have been changes and a lot of activity. We have spent approximately $300,000 on patient education and support and awareness. We have also advocated with various Provincial Health Ministries across Canada and have redesigned the web site twice, providing up to date information for patients.

In 2016 we expanded the Board of Directors from 4 family only members to 9, with 5 non-related people being added. We again expanded the Board in 2017 to 12 members. The Board now includes members from 5 provinces from Newfoundland to BC.

With the expanded Board we have been able to be more active in setting up Support groups across the country. These Support groups are rapidly expanding and we are working on groups in Manitoba, Quebec and Newfoundland plus additional groups in Ontario. Soon I believe we will have Support groups in every Province.

In 2017 we established a Medical Advisory Board to examine grant requests received from the research community. This group is made up of 9 of the top Interstitial Lung Disease doctors and researchers and will help ensure our grant money is used wisely.

I have been sick for the past year and a half and I need to take time for myself. It is now time for me to step back and let someone else take the Foundation to the next level and ensure its survival, so that it can continue to be the face and voice of PF sufferers across Canada. I have been honoured and privileged to have this chance to help so many people and I have met many new friends through my work with CPFF.

I will stay on as a Director and will be an Ambassador for CPFF and PF patients and Caregivers. Nobody gets rid of me that easily.

I would not leave unless I had secured a qualified replacement President.

I am resigning effective January 1, 2018 and I am delighted to introduce Kirk Morrison as the new President of the Canadian Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation immediately thereafter.

Kirk is an Executive Vice President at a major public company and has also served as a Board member on various charities. He has excellent leadership qualities and is close to IPF having a close family member who suffers from the disease.

I am confident Kirk can take CPFF to the next level.

Thanks to everybody who has supported me the last 8 years. I have enjoyed working with you all.

Robert Davidson
Founder, CPFF

Gratitude for Robert Davidson

Please join the CPFF Board of Directors and all the volunteers, patients and caregivers in the CPFF Community in expressing a huge THANK YOU to Robert for his enormous contribution to all Canadians affected by this horrible disease. Robert’s comments above are just a small mention of all that he and his family have contributed – so many activities and hours spent behind the scenes helping to make a difference.We urge you to please consider a donation to the CPFF as a show of support and encouragement to the new President that this is an important Foundation doing worthwhile work for Canadians affected by PF and at the same time recognize Robert’s incredible work so far.

Donate Now

Sharon Lee
Executive Director, CPFF