It is with great sadness that we have to report the death of Mike Bray, founder of Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis and chairman for the first three years of the charity’s life.
Mike – an IPF patient who received a single lung transplant six years ago – died suddenly after a short illness on January 9th at the age of 74.
He and his wife Elizabeth were the driving forces behind the charity, which was set up in 2013 to support and represent patients and families affected by Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, which kills 5,000 people in the UK every year.
Mike worked tirelessly to establish the charity as a powerful voice for all those affected by this terminal lung disease. His particular passion was helping to build a UK-wide network of support groups. He believed totally in the value and importance of support groups for patients and their families and travelled across the UK helping to establish new groups. He used his experience as one of the founders of the first IPF support groups at Papworth Hospital. When APF began there were just a handful of groups. Now there are 38 and growing; a wonderful tribute to his commitment and tenacity.
Mike also helped launch the BLF IPF Patient Charter in the UK and the first European IPF Patient Charter during his time as chairman, both of which set out to raise awareness and improve treatments. He was also a fierce advocate for patients, making many contributions to NICE consultations on IPF and lobbying MPs and other key decision-makers. Just weeks before his death he was at a Parliamentary meeting with Stephen McPartland MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Respiratory Group, campaigning for better treatment for IPF patients.
Tributes paid to Mike include:
“ We met Mike when the Papworth group was first formed. He was a driving force. An absolutely lovely man, such a gentleman and an inspiration.”
“ I attended the European Parliament with Mike in 2014 when I was first diagnosed and was in awe of his work and dedication.”
“ Mike was a great inspiration to me. I will remember him as a selfless person striving to improve the lives of so many of us through his tireless work with APF.”
Karen Hughes, Chair of APF said:
“It has been a great privilege for us all to have worked alongside Mike as trustees. We have all benefited from the unique insight he had as a patient, his unstinting energy, generosity of spirit and determination to improve the lives of IPF patients. We are determined now to fulfil his vision for APF and honour his powerful legacy. We know that everyone in the IPF community will have Elizabeth, sons Andrew and Rod and their families in their thoughts at this very sad time.”