PFF Insights

Uniting for a Cause: ILD Awareness Day 2023

by Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation
September 08, 2023

Interstitial lung disease (ILD) affects millions of lives worldwide, yet many people remain unaware of its existence and impact. That's why the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation is excited to announce the third annual ILD Day, scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 13. Our goal is to shed light on ILD, raising awareness about this condition that can make it difficult to breathe and get oxygen to the bloodstream.

An educational webinar called "Breathing Better with Supplemental Oxygen" will be held at 12 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, Sept. 13. The presentation will address why oxygen is a physiological problem with ILD and why supplemental oxygen is recommended. Important information about portable oxygen containers or devices that concentrate oxygen from ambient air, and how to get involved in oxygen advocacy initiatives will be provided. Register for the webinar here.

ILD Day is presented by nine organizations representing patients affected by interstitial lung disease. These organizations include the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, Arthritis Foundation, Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research, The Myositis Association, PF Warriors, National Scleroderma Foundation, Scleroderma Research Foundation, Sjögren's Foundation, and Wescoe Foundation for Pulmonary Fibrosis.

Joanne Gold, Executive Director of the Scleroderma Research Foundation, underscored the importance of the event. “The Scleroderma Research Foundation is proud to participate in the 3rd Annual ILD Day because ILD-associated systemic sclerosis (SSc-ILD) is one of the most life-threatening complications of scleroderma,” Gold said. “This is why we’re singularly focused on funding exceptional research by top-tier investigators and have recently launched CONQUEST - an innovative platform clinical trial designed to rapidly evaluate potential new drugs for people with SSc-ILD.  And it’s also why today we’re very excited to join forces with other organizations who are committed to help raise awareness and create a better future for those with ILD.”

Understanding ILD

ILD encompasses over 200 different causes, all characterized by inflammation and/or scarring in the lungs. These changes can severely impact your ability to breathe effectively, leading to severe health challenges. If you or someone you know is living with another disease, recognizing the increased risk for ILD is crucial.

In the United States alone, more than 50,000 new cases of ILD are diagnosed annually. More than 250,000 Americans are living with pulmonary fibrosis (PF) and ILD, conditions where the damage can be irreversible and progressively worsen over time.

ILD can stem from various causes, including certain medications, chest radiation, and exposure to environmental or occupational hazards. Moreover, individuals with other conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, myositis (including dermatomyositis and polymyositis), sarcoidosis, and Sjögren's may develop ILD.

If you're at risk or suspect you might be, it's crucial to have a conversation with your healthcare provider. The most common symptoms include shortness of breath, dry cough, and fatigue.

No Cure, but Hope Through Awareness

Currently, there is no cure for ILD but there is hope through increased awareness. By coming together on ILD Day, we aim to help affected individuals reach diagnosis and treatment more swiftly.

"We are proud to join the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation in support of the third annual ILD Day to bring awareness to a serious and complex complication seen in many Sjögren's patients,” said Janet Church, CEO of the Sjögren’s Foundation. “ILD is the most prevalent pulmonary complication in Sjögren’s patients, and we recognize the importance of bringing education and awareness to not only Sjögren’s patients and their health care providers, but also to the many other patients that may be susceptible to and suffering from ILD."

Help Share Information About ILD

ILD Day 2023 is a call to action. Join us and our partner organizations on September 13th as we work together to shine a light on ILD. Together, we can make a difference by fostering understanding, early diagnosis, and access to treatment.

“Our collaborative efforts demonstrate the collective commitment to fostering a robust support network, providing hope, driving awareness, research, and progress in the field,” said Dolly Kervitsky, President, PF Warriors.

To learn more about ILD, please visit