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If You See Giant Pinwheels, Take a Deep Breath

The DRIVE4COPD Monument aims to raise awareness of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and encourage the public to take action to see if they may be at risk.

From City of Tampa Online:

Landmark public health initiative DRIVE4COPD announced the Tampa installment of 24M: The DRIVE4COPD Monument, a visual representation of the impact of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the United States.

The monument will be on public display from Nov. 1 to 21 at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, 600 N. Ashely Drive.

The monument aims to raise awareness of COPD and encourage the public to take action to see if they may be at risk.

Reaching 14 feet at its highest peak and spanning half a football field, this first-of-its-kind monument was designed by internationally renowned artist and sculptor, Michael Kalish, using his signature medium, the license plate.

About 24M: The DRIVE4COPD Monument

  • The 24 large-scale pinwheels represent the 24 million Americans who may have COPD.
  • The pinwheel design was inspired by the DRIVE4COPD pinwheel that symbolizes a person’s ability to breathe.
  • Each pinwheel is between eight to 14 feet tall and has a six-foot span.
  • In total, 2,400 license plates were used from all 50 states.
  • The number of license plates used from each state reflects the percentage of that state’s population affected by COPD (54 plates used for 10% of the Florida population).
  • Pinwheels are secured to bases shaped as one or more states that together form the U.S. map.

COPD is a serious and progressive lung disease that is often referred to as chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or both. It is the fourth leading cause of death in America, killing more people each year than breast cancer and diabetes combined.

DRIVE4COPD encourages people age 35 or older to take a brief, five-question screener at DRIVE4COPD.COM to see if they may be at risk for COPD and talk to a healthcare provider about their results.

DRIVE4COPD is the nation’s single largest awareness campaign for COPD and is driven by a powerful network of organizations including the American Association for Respiratory Care, COPD Alliance, COPD Foundation, Country Music Association, NASCAR, U.S. COPD Coalition, and founding sponsor Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

  • COPD is prevalent throughout the U.S. yet many people are not aware of it:
  • Florida has the second-highest COPD population in the country: 1.8 million residents, or 10% of the total population, may have COPD. 
  • Across America, an estimated 24 million people may have COPD but half don’t know it.
  • People age 35+, who have smoked as few as 100 cigarettes in their lifetime, may be at risk.
  • Early diagnosis of COPD is critical because the lung damage it can cause is not reversible, but is treatable when managed with the support of a healthcare professional.

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