Mike Bray, together with his wife, Elizabeth, was the driving force behind the establishment of Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis in 2013. Mike had been diagnosed with IPF in 2005 and received a single lung transplant at the age of 68 in 2010.
He was passionate about fighting the patients’ corner and was instrumental in the charity becoming recognised as the authentic voice of the patient. He helped shape the vision and values that underpin everything the charity does in supporting patients and families, educating the wider world about the disease and raising funds for research.
His particular passion was helping to build a UK-wide network of support groups. He believed totally in the value and importance of support for patients and their families and travelled across the UK helping to establish new support networks. He used his experience as one of the founders of the first ever IPF support groups at Papworth Hospital. When APF began there were just a handful of groups; at the time of Mike’s death there were 38 and growing, a wonderful tribute to his commitment and tenacity.
Mike also helped launch the first European IPF Patient Charter during his time as chairman, 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.”