#TakeABreather at the Lung Association’s Pop-up Park.

On average, everyone takes an astonishing 22,000 breaths per day – something we’re not conscious of doing.  And, although breathing is fundamental to life, lung research doesn’t get the attention it truly needs.

November is Lung Month, the perfect time to reinforce and remind Canadians how important it is to #TakeABreather. To capture attention, invite participation and help raise donations for lung research, The Lung Association is launching interactive pop-up parks across Canada.

Joseph Neale is a "Breathing Ambassador" who survived lung cancer when he was only 20 years old. Despite having surgery he got his voice back and is hoping to win a "Grammy for Lung Cancer Research". Together we answered questions at the #TakeABreather pop-up park at Sherway Gardens. Stories like his remind me that I need to be the best scientist that I can be to make the discoveries that will improve the lives of those living with lung disease.

Joseph Neale is a “Breathing Ambassador” who survived lung cancer when he was only 20 years old. Despite having surgery he got his voice back and is hoping to win a “Grammy for Lung Cancer Research”. Together we answered questions at the #TakeABreather pop-up park at Sherway Gardens. Stories like his remind me that I need to be the best scientist that I can be to make the discoveries that will improve the lives of those living with lung disease.

Highlight’s of the kick off were livestreamed on Breathing as One’s Facebook Page – be sure to check them out!

It was such an honour to hear Joseph's story of overcoming lung cancer and to share what the research community is working on. We all agreed - more money for lung research!

It was such an honour to hear Joseph’s story of overcoming lung cancer and to share what the research community is working on. We all agreed – more money for lung research!

Remember, everything shared with #takeabreather is being curated at breathingasone.ca – take a look and make your contribution today!

Don’t forget, there are three ways that you can get involved:

VISIT THE POP-UP PARK

  • Pop in and take a breather and a selfie, and share it on social
    Nuno Lourenço (Balanced Heart Being) led us through a yoga practice at the pop-up park.

    Nuno Lourenço (Balanced Heart Being) led us through a yoga practice at the pop-up park.

    media with #takeabreather

  • We even have our very own custom #takeabreather Snapchat filter – but you’ll have to visit to see it!
  • Location: Sherway Gardens (25 The West Mall)
  • When: Thursday, Nov. 3 (11:00-8:00); Friday, Nov. 4 (11:00-8:00); Saturday, Nov. 5 (10:30-8:00); Sunday, Nov. 6 (12:00-5:00)

SHARE #TAKEABREATHER ON SOCIAL MEDIA

  • Can’t visit the park? Instead, show us your favourite time and place to take a breather with #takeabreather
  • It could be anywhere, anytime – in a field, on a hillside, at dawn or sunset, at the gym, or watching your kids play
  • Tell us why you love breathing, why you love this particular breathing moment, what your breath does for you, and any other breathing thoughts you want to share
  • Don’t forget #takeabreather
  • All contributions will be curated at BreathingasOne.ca

    It was great to meet the health and wellness bloggers who supported the #TakeABreather event! Darlene Anderson (The New Girl), Cory Lee (The Fashion Set), Joseph Neale (Take a Breather & Breathing as One Ambassador), Dr. Dawn Bowdish (Board Member), Marybeth DeSantos (Life in Rouge)

    It was great to meet the health and wellness bloggers who supported the #TakeABreather event! Darlene Anderson (The New Girl), Cory Lee (The Fashion Set), Joseph Neale (Take a Breather & Breathing as One Ambassador), Dr. Dawn Bowdish (Board Member), Marybeth DeSantos (Life in Rouge)

SPREAD THE WORD

  • Challenge your friends, family, and extended networks to #takeabreather by forwarding the information above!

It’s time Canadians stop taking our breath for granted. Through Breathing as One and the #TakeABreather campaign, together, we can lead the conversation, and radically change the way we think about breathing.

Dawn discussed why she chose to go into a career in science in the IIDR’s Incubation Podcast Series

Fiona Whelan and Ryan Buensuceso, sit down with the IIDR’s Dr. Dawn Bowdish to discuss how and why she chose science as a career.

Hear the podcast here.

Twitter handles:

Fiona Whelan (@whelanfj)
Ryan Buensuceso (@rcbuensuceso)
Dr. Dawn Bowdish (@MsMacrophage)
Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research (IIDR) (@McMasterIIDR)

The Bowdish lab thanks a 5 year old philanthropist for donating $5 of her allowance to our research!

Running a research lab is expensive (very expensive!) and the vast majority of funding to the Bowdish lab comes from taxpayers by way of agencies like the Canadian Institutes for Health Research and the National Science and Engineering Council or from generous donations to non-profit agencies like the Ontario Lung Association. We do get donations from individuals on occasion and these are even more special to us because they mean that our work has inspired someone to donate their hard-earned dollars. Below is a particularly heart-warming story of a 5 year old who donated $5 of her allowance to help us keep all the grandmas and grandpas healthy. The video below shows what we bought with that money and allows us to express our thanks.

Your donations, no matter how big or small, are special to us. They strengthen our resolve to work harder and smarter to make research breakthroughs, the inspire us to communicate our research with you, the public, and they remind us of that we are working for you, the public.
If you are inspired to donate money for research to improve lung health we’d encourage you to consider donating to the Ontario Lung Association’s Breathing as One campaign.

The McMaster Immunology Research Centre is fundraising with the Lung Association to create a new PhD scholarship in lung health. If you would like to donate to that, please contact Dr Bowdish at bowdish@mcmaster.ca or Dr. Carl Richards (director)richards@mcmaster.ca .

And lastly, if you’ve been inspired by the work of the Bowdish lab and would like to make a donation, thank you! Please contact Dr. Bowdish (bowdish@mcmaster.ca, 905-525-9140 x22313)

Thank you to all our donors. Thank you for your generosity and your belief in our work!

Dr Bowdish gives a deputation at Queen’s Park in support of Bill 41, The Lung Health Act.

The Bowdish lab has been working with the Ontario Lung Association to encourage politicians to support Bill #41 – The Lung Health Act. You may not be aware that of all the common chronic diseases (e.g. cardiovascular, diabetes), lung disease is the only one that doesn’t have a dedicated action plan. Because of this rates of lung disease are higher then they need to be and many “best practices” for treating or preventing lung disease are not in place, compromising the health of many Ontarians and increasing health care costs. For this reason MPP Kathryn McGarry put forth a private members bill to create a Lung Health Act for Ontario. Bill 41 would entail establishing a Lung Health Advisory Council to make recommendations to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care on lung health issues; and requiring the Minister to develop and implement an Ontario Lung Health Action Plan respecting research, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of lung disease. In Novemver our lab attended a provincial lobby day where we discussed the importance of this bill with politicians.  On June 6th Dawn gave a deputation to the Committee on Social Policy on why this Bill would be of particular importance to older adults.

To see the entire 4 hours of deputations (ouch!) click here.

To read more of the FAQ around the Lung Health Act click here.

To read more about the Ontario Lung Association’s draft Lung Health Action Plan, click here. (Bonus – you can donate to the Lung Association to support this work via that link too!).

Tammy Villeneuve (OLA), Andrea Kellner, Justin Boyle, MPP Dave Levac, Kyle Novakowski, Dessi Loukov and Dr. Dawn Bowdish meet to discuss the Lung Health Act.

Tammy Villeneuve (OLA), Andrea Kellner, Justin Boyle, MPP Dave Levac, Kyle Novakowski, Dessi Loukov and Dr. Dawn Bowdish meet to discuss the Lung Health Act.

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The Bowdish lab attends lobby day in November 2015 to discuss the importance of the Lung Health Act with MPPs.

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Walter Gretzky supports the Lung Health Act – you should too! (with Justin Boyle & Dessi Loukov)

Dawn at Queen's Park after her deputation on Bill 41- The Lung Health Act. The Bowdish lab participates in democracy!

Dawn at Queen’s Park after her deputation on Bill 41- The Lung Health Act. The Bowdish lab participates in democracy!

Bowdish Lab attended Queen’s Park Lobby Day with the Ontario Lung Association!

Bowdish Lab attended Queen’s Park Lobby Day with the Ontario Lung Association!

On Monday November 30th, the last day of Lung Month, members of the Bowdish Lab joined the Ontario Lung Association to lobby for the Lung Health Act at Queen´s Park. PI Dawn Bowdish and four lab members, Andrea Kellner (visiting PhD candidate), Dessi Loukov (PhD candidate), Kyle Novakowski (PhD candidate) and Justin Boyle (undergraduate), advocated for increased funding for lung research through support of Bill 41: The Lung Health Act. It was a great honour to meet the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, David Levac and talk to him about the importance of lung health. This aim was well received and he encouraged the junior researchers to never stop pursuing their scientific goals. Afterwards the team had the opportunity to explore the stunning architecture and history of Queen´s Park, which first opened in 1860. Later the reception afforded the Bowdish lab the privilege to meet MPPs and organizing members of the Lung Association. One exceptional guest and supporter of the Lung Association is Walter Gretzky, who welcomed people warmly and never tired of giving autographs. Especially inspiring was the prospect of meeting people affected by lung diseases as well as people engaged to directly help them as respiratory educators. This emphasized the importance of research performed in the Bowdish Lab and for whom it is done for. In summary, the day highlighted how research and politics can work together to improve the lives of Ontarians and how democracy works in the context of health.

George Habib from the Ontario Lung Association discusses the importance of the Lung Health Act.

George Habib from the Ontario Lung Association discusses the importance of the Lung Health Act.

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Tammy Villeneuve (OLA), Andrea Kellner, Justin Boyle, MPP Dave Levac, Kyle Novakowski, Dessi Loukov and Dr. Dawn Bowdish meet to discuss the Lung Health Act.

Tammy Villeneuve (OLA), Andrea Kellner, Justin Boyle, MPP Dave Levac, Kyle Novakowski, Dessi Loukov and Dr. Dawn Bowdish meet to discuss the Lung Health Act.

Drs Bowdish & Mossman attend the Bay Area Science & Engineering Fair

Dr. Bowdish and Mossman attend the 2015 Bay Area Science & Engineering Fair as “Special Awards” judges. The IIDR awards a 6 week summer internship to the winner of the best senior project in human health, infection or disease. The winner gets to spend time in an IIDR lab doing real science. As always, the quality of the projects was high and choosing a winner was hard.

BASEF Judges

Bowdish Lab Hosts Future Female Scientists (Canadian Association of Girls in Science).

On Thursday March 7th, the Bowdish Lab welcomed a group of five to twelve year old girls for a night for a night of science fun! In association with The Canadian Association for Girls In Science (CAGIS), the Bowdish lab opened its doors to promote and encourage our future young scientists.

CAGIS is an award winning national science club for girls aged 7-16, the purpose of which is to promote, educate and support interest and confidence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics among girls. Needless to say, The Bowdish Lab jumped at an opportunity to inspire such an eager group.

The night began with an introductory presentation by Dr. Bowdish which introduced theDawn gives out cards girls to basic concepts of immunology, good and bad germs and the members of the Bowdish Lab. Dr. Bowdish proposed a challenge to the girls; to encourage scientific inquiry, whoever asks the greatest number of scientific questions by the end of the night will win a prize! Every time a student asked a question, they would receive an official Dr. Dawn Bowdish business card to keep track. Dr. Bowdish nearly ran out of business cards IMG_0796 - Copybefore the end of the presentation!

 

The girls were then split into groups of two to three to take part in a variety of hands-on scientific activities. Of course, if the girls wanted to participate in awesome science activities, they need the proper scientific attire.

 

 

 

 

 

Girl & microscope

 

Members of the Bowdish lab organized five stations to help explain what we do as scientists. . Mike Dorrington introduced the girls to using a microscope to analyze anything from blood to nasal wash samples. Mike showed the girls how we separate blood into different components in order to isolate white blood cells. The girls were then able to observe the various types of white blood cells using pre-prepared slides. Bowdish lab organized five stations to help explain what we do as

 

Alicja & student

Alicja Puchta demonstrated how scientists develop special film to analyze anything from X-ray results to protein analysis. The girls were taken into a totally different world – the dark room. Special red lights allow for scientists to avoid exposing sensitive film to normal light. The girls were able to expose film to a variety of objects such as CD’s and pens and develop the film for their own take-home souvenir!

Avee Naidoo and Keith Lee introduced the concepts of acid and base chemistry using aColoured bubbles red-cabbage based pH indicator. The girls were allowed to use common household products to visualize changes in pH. Acids like vinegar turned the purple solution a bright neon pink, whereas bases such as baking soda turned the solution to blue and green. The grand finale was to add a piece of dry ice into a (green) basic solution. What would happen? The dry ice was able to turn the solution a variety of colors from green to blue to purple to pink in an eye catching manner.

Kyle Novakowski explained the concepts of dry ice and how we as scientists rely on it to send samples around the world while keeping them very cold. Students were shown what happens when dry ice is added to warm water and the process of sublimation. The resulting CO2 gas was then bubbled through a soapy solution to make spooky “boo bubbles” which the girls were able to hold in their very own hands. The girls were very excited to pop the bubbles and witness the escaping gas.

C02 is fun

Although the girls did not wish to be whisked away from the exciting applic

Pretty plates

ation s of dry ice, Dr. Preethi Jayanth was able to maintain the same level of fun at her stations. Our future scientist guests were able to observe various types of agar used to grow

After a few hours of exciting science, our champion question-asker was awarded a prize during a wrap-up Q&A session with Dr. Bowdish and the lab members. The immense amount of positive feedback and enthusiasm made for a wonderful night that we hope to experience again soon.bacteria. While peach and chocolate agar may sound appetizing – nobody would want to eat this stuff! The girls were given the opportunity to detect microbes on their own hands before and after washing! Two to three days later, the girls were sent pictures of all the bacteria on their hands which had grown on the agar.

Scientists plus girls excited about science