COPD Patient with 30% Lung Function Becomes First to Finish Marathon


For many people with stage IV COPD, shortness of breath and extreme fatigue make even simple, day-to-day tasks a challenge.

Russell Winwood has a stage IV diagnosis, meaning he has less than 30% lung function — but he also has a belief in the power of exercise for people with respiratory disease. In an effort to show other patients what is possible and to raise awareness of diseases like COPD, last week Russell ran the New York Marathon.

The 49-year-old Australian blogger, who is also a NewLifeOutlook writer and community member, crossed the finish line in Manhattan six hours and five minutes after setting off from Staten Island in the morning. He is thought to be the first person with this diagnosis to complete a marathon.

The day after his incredible run, Russell told NewLifeOutlook: “When I was first diagnosed I never thought I’d be able to do events like this. I’m living proof of what is possible when you lead a healthy, active lifestyle.” His example is an inspiration to the NewLifeOutlook | COPD community. As one member succinctly put it, “He gives me hope.”

I’m living proof of what is possible.

On his journey to the New York Marathon, Russell and his team raised over $10,000 for the American Lung Association and sparked many a conversation about the difference exercise can make.

But the COPD Athlete’s mission didn’t end when he crossed the finish line. Throughout the training and lead-up to the marathon Russell and his team were filming for “COPD: A Marathon for Life,” a documentary that hopes to shine a light on COPD and other respiratory diseases, which will come out next year.

NewLifeOutlook proudly sponsored Russell’s run, and looks forward to working with him into the future to raise COPD awareness and help those living with the condition get the most out of life.

About NewLifeOutlook:

NewLifeOutlook is a family of websites that focus on people living life with chronic illness — not on the illness itself. We strive to offer practical information to help people afflicted with chronic conditions better deal with everyday life post diagnosis, and to connect with others who share their experiences.