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Dan Smyth was the first patient Chair of the European Lung Foundation. He was fundamental in ensuring that that the organisation changed from one that was patient-focused to one that was truly patient-led. Dan was the first patient to sit on the Management Board of the ERS and to ensure that patients are at the heart of ERS activities.
Dan was an original member of the ELF Patient Advisory Committee (PAC). From then until now he played a key role in projects such as the European Patient Ambassador Programme (EPAP), Your Lungs at Work Tool, the campaign for better air travel for people with lung conditions needing oxygen, and the first ELF patient priorities project in lung cancer.
Dan had sleep apnoea and was a champion for those living with the condition. He worked tirelessly in Ireland providing support to individuals on the phone and by email, and held an annual conference open to all. This led him to get involved with the ELF and many ERS sleep projects.
Dan was truly unforgettable. He was fully committed to ELF and ERS, and to ensuring that patients were driving forward improvements in lung health. He was pragmatic and to the point – ensuring everything got delivered in the best way possible. But what we will remember most was his sense of humour, his love of his family, his enjoyment of meeting everyone each year at the ERS Congress, and his warmth and generosity.
Thank you Dan for your wise words, your friendship, you guidance, your jokes, the funny memes you sent – but most of all for making ELF what it is today.
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