Ridgefield, Conn., September 21, 2022 – Yankees legend and Latin Grammy nominee Bernie Williams and celebrity vocal coach Eric Vetro have teamed up with Boehringer Ingelheim to launch Tune In To Lung Health®—a program designed to raise awareness for interstitial lung disease (ILD) and bring to life how music and breathing can help people cope with the mental, emotional, and physical burden of ILD. Williams, who lost his father to idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in 2001, has been advocating for ILD awareness and education as part of Boehringer Ingelheim’s Breathless® campaign since 2017, and Vetro has over three decades of vocal coaching experience. Together, they aim to address the many facets of ILD through educational resources that focus on the power of music and breath.
“Tune In To Lung Health combines two things that are very close to my heart—music and raising awareness of interstitial lung disease,” said Williams. “My dad was my hero and he ignited my passion for music, which played a critical role for me and my family after his diagnosis with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. I know he would be proud that I’m turning our family’s difficult experience into a chance to help others find the information they need earlier and more quickly than we did.”
Latin Grammy nominee Bernie Williams brings his love of music and passion for raising awareness for interstitial lung disease to Tune In To Lung Health.
Carolyn, living with systemic sclerosis-associated ILD, reflects on the power that music has on her life.
Celebrity vocal coach Eric Vetro joins Carolyn, Cheryl, and Vera – three people affected by ILD -- to discuss how music has helped them in their journeys.
Tune In to Interstitial Lung Disease Fact Sheet
ILD is an umbrella term that encompasses over 200 types of rare diseases—including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, chronic fibrosing interstitial lung diseases, and systemic sclerosis-associated interstitial lung disease—that can cause scarring of the lungs, which may make it difficult to breathe. In addition to its physical burden, ILD can also take a significant mental and emotional toll.
“As a vocal coach, I know firsthand the transformative nature of music and its ability to impact people in unique ways,” said Vetro. “What I didn’t know was how impactful music may be for some people living with interstitial lung disease. I’m excited to highlight the role music can play for people living with this disease and share breathing exercises and classic singing techniques that I’ve used with my own clients.”
Program resources include a four-part video series with exercises led by Vetro, as well as firsthand accounts from people living with an ILD. From singing and dancing, to mindful breathing, their inspiring stories show the diverse ways that music and breathing can help them cope. While exercises in these videos are geared toward people living with an ILD and their caregivers (after consultation and with guidance from their healthcare providers), anyone is encouraged to engage with them, regardless of musical experience or ability.
Vetro and Williams have also curated streaming playlists featuring some of their favorite mood-boosting tunes. Vetro’s playlist focuses on “songs to motivate and inspire,” while Williams’ direction is “soulful and soothing.”
“Interstitial lung disease impacts more than just physical health, and Tune In To Lung Health is an extension of Boehringer Ingelheim’s unwavering commitment to supporting those living with the disease and their loved ones,” said Al Masucci, Vice President, ILD Business Unit, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. “We’re thankful to Bernie and Eric for lending their voices and expertise to help increase disease awareness and education.”
To learn more about Tune In To Lung Health and access program resources, visit TuneInToLungHealth.com or follow along on social media:
About interstitial lung disease (ILD)
ILD is an umbrella term that describes a group of over 200 rare diseases that can cause scarring of the lungs, which may make it difficult to breathe. Symptoms can include shortness of breath, a dry and persistent cough, or fatigue. Because these symptoms are nonspecific, they are often blamed on other, more common conditions like pneumonia, asthma, COPD, or congestive heart failure. For this reason, it may take many years for ILD patients to receive an accurate diagnosis, making disease awareness and education key.
Research has shown that music may help to cope with feelings of depression and anxiety, which are highly prevalent in people living with ILD and can even affect their loved ones and caregivers. Breathing exercises can also potentially help improve symptoms of breathlessness, a common physical symptom of many ILDs. These should be done in consultation with a healthcare provider.
About Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Boehringer Ingelheim is working on breakthrough therapies that transform lives, today and for generations to come. As a leading research-driven biopharmaceutical company, the company creates value through innovation in areas of high unmet medical need. Founded in 1885 and family-owned ever since, Boehringer Ingelheim takes a long-term perspective. More than 52,000 employees serve over 130 markets in the three business areas, Human Pharma, Animal Health, and Biopharmaceutical Contract Manufacturing.
Learn more at www.boehringer-ingelheim.us
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